Duterte certifies as urgent bill on higher tobacco tax
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent a Senate bill that seeks higher excise taxes on tobacco products.
Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Undersecretary Ryan Esteves confirmed this to Rappler on Tuesday, May 28.
The certification is for Senate Bill No. 2233, or "An Act Raising the Excise Tax on Tobacco Products and Amending For the Purpose Pertinent Sections of the National Revenue Code."
The certification document, however, has not yet been officially released.
The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill in December 2018. The Senate version is in the period of interpellation.
Duterte's certification allows the Senate to pass the bill on second and third and final reading on the same day.
SB 2233 proposes the following excise tax increases and schedule:
- Effective January 1, 2020 - P45/pack
- Effective January 1, 2021 - P50/pack
- Effective January 1, 2022 - P55/pack
- Effective January 1, 2023 - P60/pack
The additional revenue is supposed to fund the Universal Health Care Program, provided under the law that Duterte signed in February. – Rappler.com