By Chino Leyco
Liquor ban and suspension of cigarette manufacturing have nearly flattened the national government’s sin tax collections last April, data from the Department of Finance (DOF) revealed.
Based on the DOF data, excise tax collections from tobacco products and alcoholic beverages amounted to only around P200 million in April, down by 99.1 percent compared with P18.1 billion in the same month last year.
“Due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), and liquor ban imposed amid the pandemic, and overall decline in the demand for sin products, collections from alcohol and tobacco products declined by almost 100 percent in April 2020,” Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said.
From cigarette taxes, April collections declined by 98.9 percent to roughly P100 million from P12.4 billion in the previous year.
Beltran said the decline in cigarette tax haul was owing to the 99.2 percent drop in volume of removals from factories, which reached only three million units last month from 355.5 million units a year ago.
Excise tax collections from alcohol also decreased by 99.6 percent in April to only P20 million from P5.7 billion last year. Taxes paid by makers of fermented liquors and distilled spirits declined by 99.9 percent and 98.6 percent, respectively.
Beltran said factory output of fermented liquors reached only around 200,000 liters, while fermented spirits reached 1.4 million proof liters because of the travel restrictions and liquor ban.
Several local government units implemented a ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks while the nation is under quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In the case of cigarettes, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease prohibited tobacco companies to continue operating their factories during the ECQ.