Palace hopes to settle issues with Senate over sin tax proposal

October 18, 2012 10:07 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 18 — Malacanang is hopeful the Executive Branch and the Senate could soon agree on a compromise on the sin tax collection proposal for the benefit of Filipinos.

Citing the position of the Dept. of Finance, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda told a news briefing Thursday the administration is open to ironing out the sin tax issue as long as it addresses the health and trade issues wanted by the Aquino administration.

Lacierda said it would be a victory for the people if the government could get the P60-billion annual collection from sin taxes since it will address the healthcare coverage in a particular number of years.

Lacierda also explained the Dept. of Finance prefers the original P60-billion version but the department is also willing to accept a lower amount of P40-billion provided that the other objectives of the bill such as the health and the WTO issues are addressed.

Asked if the administration got an assurance from the senators on a particular amount they could work on, Lacierda said, legislators are amenable in figures between P40 billion and P60 billion.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee recommended last week a measure that will raise P15 billion to P20 billion in additional tax revenues per year.

The House of Representatives, on the other hand, approved last June its sin tax version, which is expected to raise P31.35 billion in the first year of implementation.

The Palace proposal is pegged at P60 billion a year. (PNA)

HBC/PCOO/SSC

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