Pacquiao seeks higher excise tax on tobacco products

MANILA — To further discourage Filipinos from smoking, Senator Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday said he wants the current cigarette tax rate of PHP30 per pack increased to PHP60 a pack.

Pacquiao, in filing Senate Bill 1599, said he wanted to further increase the excise tax on tobacco products “not only to collect more revenues” but also “protect the people’s health.”

If Pacquiao’s measure is passed, the current cigarette tax rate of PHP30 per pack will increase to PHP60 per pack. This is aside from the annual increase of 9 percent from the current 4 percent increase in excise tax per year.

He, meanwhile, asked Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, to include his proposed measure in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).

Quoting 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Pacquiao said:”Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

According to Pacquiao, the implementation of the Sin Tax Reform Act (RA 10351) has been proven effective in minimizing the smoking habit and in raising funds for public health.

RA 10351 was passed in 2012 to raise government funds for the implementation of Universal Health Care.

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