On Sin Tax Committee Report

Print-Interview-Sin-Tax-Comm-ReportMarcos: well, hindi na kasing bigat ang magiging increase ng taxation lalo na sa iba’t-ibang produkto. Siguro…nasisiyahan naman ang mga producers lalo na sa tobacco industry side dahil nauunawaan naman ni Sen. Recto ang mga kumplikadong issue dito sa taxation. Iyun lamang, malaki na ang nagawa para maging praktikal at implementable and magiging sin taxes because if you remember, ang aking concern is the Virginia tobacco dahil doon sa amin in the northern part of the country, that is very large source of livelihood. Ngayon the original version, the house version that was passed, ang magiging taxation sa amin is an increase of almost 800 percent dun sa original. Ngayon, there will be an increase especially at the low level, the cheapest brand of cigarette, the increase is 121 percent. But at least doon sa mid at tsaka premium level, malaki ang naibawas sa increase. Ngayon ang problema namin was not so much the fact that an increase in terms of taxation, ang problema namin is napakabigla ng pag-increase gaya nga ng sinabi ko, iyung sa house bill almost 800 percent in the first year pa lang iyun ah…kaya hindi naman kaya ng industriya ang ganung klaseng increase. What we have now there is an 8 percent increase every two years and 4 percent for subsequent years. That seems at least pwede na yun, during the plenary debate I will still bring it up with Senator Recto and also the increase in the cheapest brand of cigarettes. I think at the very least masasabi naman na ang rationale, ang pagkalkula kasi dun sa house version ang sinabi nila dapat ang makuha naming is 60 billion and it was from that figure that they work back….as sponsored by Senator Recto, they have done the calculation the proper way as to what the tolerable increases and what will the revenues will be from those increases in tax form across the board. So it is more as I say a rationalized approach although sa palagay ko mayroon pang konting fine-tuning that can be done and I already brought it up with Senator Recto and he said sige pag-usapan natin privately and also during the floor debate. I think now it’s a question of fine-tuning and I think we are on the right direction…..

Iyun na nga ang aking main concerned is the tobacco industry and we still have to resolve because ang sharing pa rin in the tobacco industry (innaudible) providing I think up to 60 percent from the total production from sin taxes. Sinasabi naming dati hindi naman ganyan, dati naman pantay pantay lang so they try to move the number closer up to one third I don’t know if they will be able to do it but that is something that needs to be looked at because again a very sudden increase will cause problems in implementation because iyung Virginia tobacco is very well-monitored, regulated and understood industry and if you make huge changes will cause dislocations in its functions. And maybe the fact that tax increase itself is not objectionable for us but we would like those increases to be gradual so that the industry can compensate.

Question: inaudible:

Marcos: Alam mo its very complicated, the bill is very complicated, I just got the final form the day before yesterday bago nag-sponsor si Sen. Ralph…but at the top of my head doon sa nakita ko…ganun na nga ang nakita ko pinag-aaralan naming number one yung sharing of tobacco in the total collection of sin taxes para sa amin masyadong malaki ang kinukuha sa tobacco industry. Pangalawa, is still the large incrase in taxation of the cheapest form of cigarette which is 121 percent I believe is the proposed increase although it’s a big improvement of over 800 percent maybe we can still see where we can find savings from that. Aside from that, mAybe the tax rates we can still talk about…I think some in the tobacco industry will still that high but again that is something that we will be discussing at a greater length…

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