Duterte certifies as urgent bill increasing cigarette, alcohol taxes
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent the Senate measure increasing taxes on alcohol and cigarettes.
Duterte certified as urgent Senate Bill (SB) No. 1074 on Tuesday, November 12, through a letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III. A copy of the document with his certification was sent to media by Sotto's office.
SB No. 1074 seeks to introduce a new round of excise taxes on alcohol until 2022, particularly a 20% ad valorem tax on distilled spirits, as well as specific tax per liter ranging from P43 to P600 for distilled spirits, beer, and wine.
The measure also seeks a specific tax of P45 to P60 for heated tobacco products and vapor products or e-cigarettes until 2022.
After 2023, the bill proposes a tax increase of 5% every year for cigarettes and 10% for alcohol products.
In his letter, Duterte said the increase in excise taxes would "generate additional revenue" to support the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act.
Duterte's certification allows the Senate to pass the bill on 2nd reading as well as 3rd and final reading on the same day.
SB No. 1074 was passed in the committee level last September. Senator Pia Cayetano, the bill's sponsor, has been defending the measure at the plenary.
At the House of Representatives, the counterpart measure was already approved on 3rd and final reading. – Rappler.com