President Rodrigo Duterte green-lighted the proposal of the Department of Finance and the Department of Health to impose additional taxes on tobacco and alcohol products.
Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo confirmed that the President gave his approval during a meeting with his Cabinet members on Monday, Jan. 7.
“This is a key public health measure to reduce deaths and disabilities due to tobacco and alcohol consumption and, at the same time, a revenue measure to fund the universal health care program,” Panelo said in a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
In a press briefing, Panelo clarified that the DOF and the DOH recommended that the President certify as urgent the proposals to increase the excise taxes over tobacco and alcohol products.
“Because under the proposal, the tax on tobacco would be raised to P60 per pack, while on the part of alcohol it will be P40 per liter. So the recommendation is that, that bill should be passed and signed into law – that was what was approved last night,” Panelo explained to reporters.
On December 2018, the House of Representatives approved House Bill 8618 and House Bill 8677 on its third and final reading. The two measures will raise the excise taxes on alcohol products, and tobacco products, respectively.
In the Senate, Sen. Manny Pacquiao authored Senate Bill No. 1599 that increases the tax on per pack of cigarettes by Php 60, while Sen. JV Ejercito filed SB No. 1605 seeking to raise it by Php 90.