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Duterte certifies alcohol, e-cigarette tax hike urgent

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent a bill increasing taxes on alcohol and tobacco products.

In a letter addressed to Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday, Duterte said the immediate enactment of Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1074 would “address the urgent need” to fund Universal Health Care (UHC) to “protect the right to health of the people.”

Copies of the letter were also furnished to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy.

SBN 1074 seeks to raise the excise taxes on alcohol, heated tobacco, and vapor products to generate P47.9 billion for the UHC program next year.

Last July, Duterte signed Republic Act 11346 imposing higher excise taxes on cigarettes by P45 per pack by 2020, P50 per pack by 2021, P55 per pack by 2022, and P60 per pack by 2023.

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