By JP Lopez | www.malaya.com.ph
SEN. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. yesterday vowed to monitor the newly-ratified excise tax reform measure once it is signed into law by President Aquino probably next week.
“We are going to be watching this (sin tax law) from the beginning. We will track it. An act of Congress can only be amended by another act of Congress,” he said at the Kapihan sa Senado forum.
Marcos said that based on his calculations, he doubts if the projected revenue of P33.9 billion would be reached during the law’s first year of implementation.
Marcos maintained that the sin tax reform measure imposes unrealistic tax rates which could kill the tobacco industry.
The final version of the sin tax bill has set the revenue target collection from tobacco and alcohol products to P33.9 billion on 2013 in which tobacco will have to cough up P23.4 billion or 69 percent of the expected revenues.
Marcos said government expects to collect at least half a trillion pesos from 2013 to 2017 a figure which he said is too much considering that the tobacco industry is not that big.
He said the passage of the bill could be a major issue in the 2013 elections and there is big possibility that it would have a negative effect on reelectionist senators.
Marcos said while he is committed to support re-electionists Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV, his party mates at the Nationalista Party (NP), he cannot force his constituents to vote for them.
Trillanes voted for the passage of the measure while Cayetano was not present when the bicam report was ratified by the Senate.
Marcos said Ilocanos are very much aware of the sin tax issue as well as the legislators who voted in favor or against it.
“Ang Ilokano kung bumoto ‘yan, siyempre tinitingnan bakit ninyo sinasaktan ‘yung kababayan ko, bakit ninyo pinapahirapan ang kababayan ko?” Marcos said noting that some 2.5 million Ilocanos depend on the tobacco industry for their livelihood.
Tobacco is a major industry in Region I or Ilocos Region, which is made up of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan.
But Marcos said Ilocanos do not only reside in the North.
“Ang Ilokano hindi sa Norte na lang, ang Ilokano nakakalat sa buong Pilipinas,” he said.
“Ngayon lang natin mate-testing pero sa palagay ko magpaparamdam ang mga Ilokano na hindi sa Norte dito sa sin tax bill. Kahit papaano kasi mga kamag-anak pa rin nila ‘yung mga ‘yun eh, mga kaibigan pa rin nila ‘yun,” he said.