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Angara proposes thorough study on higher tobacco tax

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Senator Sonny Angara on Tuesday raised the need to “study carefully” the proposed measure of Sen. Manny Pacquiao to include higher tobacco tax in the comprehensive tax reform program.

Pacquiao on Oct. 3 filed Senate Bill No. 1599 raising the excise tax on tobacco products. The revenues to be derived from this measure will fund the primary care system or the universal health care.

“This is has to be looked at and studied carefully. The Senate listened to the proposals of the health sector and NGOs to increase the cigarette tax rates,” Angara said.

“Their proposal is based on preliminary data and analysis with respect to the effects of the proposal particularly on revenues,” he said.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, is crafting the upper chamber’s version of the CTRP or package 1 of TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion).

“It has been claimed that increasing the tax rate to P60 per pack will raise P68 billion in revenues,” he said.

Since the enactment of the Sin Tax Law of 2012 or Republic Act 10351, collection from excise tax on cigarettes went up every year.

From P32.9 billion cigarette tax collection in 2012, it more than doubled to P70.4 billion in 2013.