Drilon Favors Higher Tax on Tobacco, Alcohol

Manila Bulletin, July 26, 2018 | Go to article overview

Drilon Favors Higher Tax on Tobacco, Alcohol


By Hannah Torregoza

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday renewed his push for the review and rationalization of fiscal incentives granted to

businesses as a way of increasing government revenue, saying these two measures could be better source of additional revenues of the government.

Drilon also threw his support to efforts to review the Sin Tax Law in favor of higher taxes on cigarettes and liquors.

"My position is that this is one area where we can prevent revenue leaks or minimize revenue leaks and increase the taxes we collect," Drilon said during a Kapihan sa Senado forum when asked on his take on President Rodrigo Duterte's push for the second tranche of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law during his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"I am in favor of sin taxes. I sponsored that.. so in so far as I am concerned, we should have a higher tax on cigarettes and liquor," Drilon pointed out.

"These two measures can be sources of additional revenues--this rationalization of fiscal incentives where we can review the foregone revenues and with the sin tax--it's something we really should study again," the minority leader reiterated.

Drilon pointed out that he has been advocating for Senate Bill No. 229 or the measure rationalizing fiscal incentives being granted to companies in the country in the past Congresses, noting that there are currently at least 14 investment promotion agencies tasked to promote investments by granting incentives.

He also said there are already at least 123 investment laws as of today and yet this has resulted to at least P300-billion in foregone revenues in 2015.

"As I said, there are 123 tax incentives laws that are in our laws today. Yet it showed that in 2015, we have P300-billion in foregone revenues that resulted in the tax incentives law. The question is what benefits did the people get in these incentives? What were the employments generated? What were the taxes paid? So all of these things must be studied. And I believe it is about time that we rationalize these incentives that we got," he pointed out.

He also said Congress should determine if this is the reason, why despite these tax incentives, the Philippines still lags behind in terms of foreign direct investments (FDIs), losing to other countries in Southeast Asia particularly, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia.

"It's about time that we look into this, as we know there are a lot of abuses with these incentives granted--perpetual na yung iba. Tax holidays are perpetual to some companies," he said. …

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