By Marlon Purificacion | People's Journal
THERE will be around three-million individuals who will lose their jobs or source of income should the sin tax bill becomes a law, according to Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.
Marcos said if the government really wants to push through the sin tax bill, it should consider the people who will directly affected and might threaten to lose job.
“Kung talagang tapat ang ating pamahalaan na bawasan ang mga naninigarilyo, ang mangyayari dyan ay magkakaroon ng displacement ’yung ating mga tobacco farmer. Iyong ating mga growers at retailers, pati mga traders. Lahat sila mararamdaman nila ang pagbawas ng konsumo ng tobacco,” Marcos said.
Marcos said the government should think on the remedy for the three million people who will be affected.
“Ilan sa inyong palagay ang mawawalan ng hanapbuhay dahil sa pagtaas ng buwis?” Marcos added.
Marcos also questioned the unequal treatment between cigarette and liquor because higher tax will be imposed on cigarettes compared to liquor.
“Kaya naman tinitingnan namin, pwede naman dapat siguro pantay-pantay ang pagbayad ng buwis ng tatlo na tinatawag na mga sin vices,” the senador pointed out.
The senator from Ilocos also expressed doubtfulness to the statistics given by the proponents of the sin tax bill after he recognized discrepancies.
“I think tanggap naman lahat. Kung talagang kailangan i-increase natin ’yung income ng pamahalaan at ito ay isang paraan para gawin ’yun, maaring gawin, ngunit sa calculations namin thousands of percent ang increase. Pagka ginawa mo ’yun, talagang halos pinatay mo na ’yung industriya. Three million ang dependent sa tobacco industry. Sila’y ’wag natin pabayaan,” he said.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile also shared same view with regards to the issue of sin tax bill.
Enrile assured the bills that will pass by the Senate are not inequitable because it is not just for his fellow Ilocanos who are tobacco farmers where their source of living is farming tabacco.
However, Enrile clarified that they will fix the bill and the accompanying provisions because the House of Representatives version is not acceptable to all the senators.
Enrile believes that the number of cigarette smokers cannot be reduced merely by increasing the price. These manufacturers will only make cheaper cigarette brands.
Meanwhile, Senate committee on ways and means chairman Ralph Recto said three to four more hearings will be held before they decide on the proposed sin tax bill.
The next hearing will be attended by representatives from cigarette and liquor industries.