Revenues earned by the government from “sin” products, especially the increments made possible by the reformed sin tax law of 2012, should trickle down to the intended beneficiaries.
This developed as Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. reminded the government that tobacco farmers were identified as among the direct beneficiaries of the revenues and increments resulting from the implementation of Republic Act 10351 or the Sin Tax Reform Act, a law which increased the excise tax on cigarette and alcohol products.
Reports said the excise tax collection from tobacco and alcohol products by the Bureau of Internal Revenue from January to November last year amounting to P91.6 billion exceeded the 2013 target excise tax collection of P85.5 billion.
“It’s very clear in the law that tobacco farmers should receive a certain percentage from the revenues out of the excise tax collection from tobacco products. If the law is very clear on that, the government should make sure that the farmers will get their entitlement,” Marcos said.
Currently, there are about 53,892 farmers who, together with their families, source their primary livelihood from the tobacco industry.
Section 8 of RA 10351 provides that: “Fifteen percent (15%) of the incremental revenue collected from the excise tax on tobacco products under R.A. NO. 8240 shall be collected and divided among the provinces producing burley and native tobacco in accordance with the volume of tobacco leaf production.”
The fund will be exclusively used to promote alternatives for tobacco farmers and workers like programs that will support farmers who shift to production of other agricultural products or commercial crops, financial support for displaced tobacco farmers, infrastructure projects like farm to market roads, among others, and agro-industrial projects that will enable them to be involved in the management and subsequent ownership of projects such as post-harvest and secondary processing like cigarette manufacturing and by-product utilization.