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Gov’t to lose P1.4B yearly from Duterte’s vaping ban – Salceda

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said government is about to lose P1.4-billion worth of annual income following the recent pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he will ban the use and importation of vaping devices in the country.

“Siyempre, susunod kami. Because what the president want is to ban, P1.4 billion (ang mawawala),” said Salceda.

According to Salceda, the Universal Health Care Act won’t be affected by the recent development since government can root the projected loss income on fermented products and on distilled spirits.

“We can make up for it in the six tax measures I don’t think we will allow the UHC to be jeopardized by the ban.”

The House of Representatives last August approved on final reading a proposed legislation that seeks impose additional taxes on alcohol products and e-cigarettes.

Under the proposal, a P30 tax per milliliter will be imposed starting 2020 to vapor products with nicotine salt.

Specific tax per milliliter of vapor products with nicotine salts will increase to P35 to 2021, P40 to 2022, and P45 to 2023.

For conventional “freebase” or “classic” nicotine products, P4.50 tax per milliliter starting 2020, P5 in 2021, P5.50 in 2022, and P6 in 2023. The tax will also increase by five percent every year starting 2024.

But with recent development, “tax policy will no longer be one of the state tools for controlling the negative effects of vapes on health (since) it becomes a totally health issue,” according to Salceda.

“No longer a tax issue… virtually ang gagawin namin dun all taxes on vape will be removed pati yung existing, kasi may existing tax on vape di ba? Aalisin na din namin yun,” said Salceda.

Salceda stressed that vape will no longer be considered a taxable product once the chief executive proceed with issuance of an executive order that will ban the importation of e-cigarettes in the Philippine market.

“We don’t recognize vapes anymore as a product that is being taxed, just like there’s no taxes on prostitution. That is moral equivalent,” said Salceda.

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