MANILA – British American Tobacco Philippines is hopeful that the final decision on the Sin Tax Law amendments will provide a level playing field, fair and equitable taxation, and is beneficial to all.
BAT said the Senate’s version of the measure provides a level playing field since it calls for the removal of the classification freeze on old brands and the premium and high tiers.
The Senate version is targeted to provide the government additional P9.8 to P14.8 billion in additional revenues from cigarettes and P5.2 to P7 billion from alcohol products in the first year of implementation alone.
This is lower than the about P30 billion expected additional revenues under the House version, which is already half of the government’s projection.
Recto, however, said his report provides for realistic, reasonable and responsible amendments.
BAT said it is also supportive of the Lower House’s version because it is in line with the company’s principle for a sin tax legislation that provides a level playing field and reasonable revenue.
Some Senators have earlier raised their discontent on Recto’s report.
Sen. Sergio Osmena III is disappointed on the expected additional excise tax revenue on the Senate version, which is only about 15 percent of gross domestic product and lower than the 18-19 percent share under the Department of Finance’s proposal.
Also, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, meanwhile, said the lower revenue projected under the Senate version is a loss for the government’s universal health care program and the improvement of health facilities from the national to the barangay levels.
Half of the revenue from the excise tax will be allocated to fund additional number of indigents enrolled under Philhealth as well as finance improvements of regional and rural facilities.*PNA