COVID-19 failed to dampen Filipinos’ smoking, drinking habits as sin tax collection increases — BIR

Published July 14, 2020, 9:32 AM

by Jun Ramirez

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has not dampened the smoking and alcohol drinking habits of many Filipinos.


Officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) made this observation as the collection of excise tax from the twin “sin products” continues to rise.

In a report to the Department of Finance, the BIR said it raised a total of P61.4 billion in excise tax from tobacco products for the first semester of the year.

The amount is roughly P17.8 billion higher than the goal of P43.6 billion.

For the same period, collection from alcohol products reached P27.4 billion which was higher by P6.5 billion over the target of P20.9 billion.

For the month of June alone, P18 billion was garnered from the distribution of cigarette products, P4.8 billion higher compared to the actual take of P13.3 billion for the same period last year.

The collection from alcoholic drinks for June totaled P7.3 billion, P515 million above the actual collection of P6.8 billion for the same period last year.

Revenue officials believed that many recipients of the government’s cash assistance program may have used a substantial amount of the doleout to buy these products.