Smokers, drinkers spend P53.5-B on excise taxes in 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Smokers and drinkers paid P53.5 billion worth of excise taxes to the government when they bought their favorite sin products in 2010, according to data from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).

In the latest issue of Sexy Statistics titled, "What is So Sinful About the Sin Tax?" NSCB Secretary General Jose Ramon Albert said most of these excise taxes came from smokers who paid as much as P31.7 billion. The rest or P21.8 billion came from drinkers. 

The NSCB said that in 2010, around 8.2% or P67 billion of the government's revenues came from excise taxes. The government's revenue collections in that year amounted to P822 billion. 

"In 2010, from the P67 billion collections on excise tax, P21.8 billion and P31.7 billion came from alcohol products and tobacco products, respectively," Albert said. 

Funds from poor pockets

Albert said based on the 2009 Family Income and Expenditures Surveys (FIES) of the National Statistics Office (NSO), Filipinos spend around 0.8% of their total expenditure on tobacco.

However, Filipinos belonging to the bottom 30% -- the lowest income bracket -- spend 1.6% of their total expenditure on cigarettes. The upper 70%, meanwhile, allocated only 0.7% of their expenditures to cigarettes, lower than the average.

The NSCB said that in the 2009 FIES, Filipinos allocated an average of 0.7% of their expenses to alcohol. 

Albert said, similar to tobacco consumption, Filipinos belonging to the bottom 30% of the population allocated a higher amount of their income to alcohol: about 1.1%.

Declining trend?

However, Albert said there is a generally decreasing share of excise tax on goods to total revenue collection to 8.2% in 2010 from a high of 14.4% in 2002. 

He said this may be due to the generally decreasing share of alcohol product taxes in total revenue collection from 3.3% in 2002 to 2.6% in 2010.

Albert said this could also be because of the decreasing share of tax collected from tobacco products in total revenue collection -- from 5.1% in 2002 to 3.9% in 2010 . 

"Also, looking at its share to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the ratio of excise tax on goods collected in the country to GDP consistently went down from 2.1% in 1998 to 0.7% in 2010," Albert said.  

Health costs

The NSCB also reminded the public that smoking and drinking could lead to the Top 10 leading causes of death in the Philippines. 

The Top 10 causes of morbidity are:

"We must not forget that the cost of smoking and/or alcohol drinking is not solely monetary. There are also costs to our health that we should also think about," Albert said. - Rappler.com