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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, June 8, 2012
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Negros to get add’l P3B
 annually with ‘sin’ taxes

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said he favors the imposition of “sin” tax on tobacco and liquor in the Philippines as it will raise government revenues, and bring in an estimated additional P3 billion to Negros Occidental.

The Philippines has the lowest “sin” tax in the whole of Asia, and the highest is in Japan, he said.

Raising sin tax will not only bring in a lot of additional revenues to the government, its triggering a rise in tobacco and liquor prices will also curb consumption by teenagers, he said.

The governor said government data shows that there has been a rise in teenage consumption of cigarettes and liquor in the country because of their low prices.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the bill that raises taxes on liquor and tobacco, but the Senate has yet to pass a similar measure.

“I hope the Senate passes the “sin” tax bill because the bulk of the funds raised will go to health needs,” the governor said, noting that Health Secretary Enrique Ona estimates that what will come to Negros Occidental will be P3 billion annually.

The governor also noted that per capita consumption of beer in the country is highest in Batayan, because the women in the area out-drink the men.

Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, House Majority Leader, yesterday said he sees the passage of the proposed "sin" tax on tobacco and liquor into law by December.

"I hope the Senate will also adopt the House-approved version of the proposed new sin tax," he added.*CPG

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