It’s now or probably never. The fate of proposed reforms on sin products taxes — as well as the economic targets of President Aquino — has to be sealed this 2012 since the possibility of getting more revenues from cigarettes and alcohol products dims in the remaining years of the current government. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima seems to be staking his all in this piece of legislation, backing the Abaya Bill in the Lower House and rallying the support of Malacanang and political allies. But he and the P60 billion a year additional revenues he is eyeing are against the mighty North Luzon bloc in the House, as well as members of the National Peoples’ Coalition led by billionaire businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr, the president’s own uncle. How then can ‘Aquinomics’ work when the government coffers don’t have enough?
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