Cigarette Rules Not Properly Implemented
MANILA, Philippines - The national government should endeavor to enforce existing rules and regulations before considering new tax measure, like the indexation of excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, a lawmaker from La Union said.
While the Department of Finance (DoF) wanted the proposed hike in levies on alcohol and tobacco be approved by the middle of next year, La Union Representative Victor Ortega pointed that the government has yet properly implemented the rules and regulations on cigarettes.
"What's the use of passing new laws if we cannot strictly enforce existing rules and regulations like the ban on selling cigarettes to minors," Ortega said.
But the finance department explained that there is a need to raise tobacco and alcohol taxes so that the industry is not controlled by just one company and to improve the government's tax efficiency.
Currently, the company that controls 90 percent of the Philippine market is PMFTC, the merged entity of Philip Morris and Lucio Tan-owned Fortune Tobacco Corporation.
The finance department is also aiming to collect roughly P60 billion in additional revenues through the restructured excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Revenue from the measure would be earmarked for the government's proposed public health care system. …