By Genalyn Kabiling
The new law raising excise taxes on alcohol, heated tobacco, and other vapor products is considered a “triumph” for all Filipinos, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Friday.
Andanar said the sin tax reform law would generate funds to help the government deliver better social services such as health care to the public.
“We laud President Duterte for signing the bill that will impose additional excise taxes on alcoholic beverages and e-cigarettes,” he said in a statement.
“The signing of Republic Act No. 11467 is indeed a triumph for every Filipino as it will allow the government to continue to provide social services and programs that will achieve the vision of President Duterte of providing a dignified and comfortable life for all.”
The President recently signed the law on higher excise taxes on alcohol products and e-cigarettes but vetoed a provision that prohibited the government from conducting raids without a court order.
Duterte explained that the provision, which he vetoed, would only curtail the government’s power to collect taxes as well as the search and seizure powers of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to combat illegal trade.
Andanar said the new law would generate additional revenues “which the government can use in the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) program and the enhancement of its health facilities, in order to deliver quality healthcare to all.”
He noted that the new law also exempts medicines for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes, from value-added tax (VAT) beginning this January 2020.
By January 2023, medicines for mental health, cancer, tuberculosis, and kidney diseases will also be exempted from VAT, Andanar said.