Jan 11, 2019

Following the president’s approval of the increase of excise tax on cigarettes, alcohol, and fuel, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) announced yesterday its move of “tightening” the implementation of the new sin tax rates. This is a call to all district collectors and importers of the said products, but what does this mean for us, consumers?

The memorandum issued by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero and BOC Management Information System and Technology Group Jeffrey Ian Dy actually serves as a reminder of the glaring increases (and burden) applied to gasoline, alcohol, and tobacco products and their producers.

The increase on alcohol and tobacco products, for one, may be promising as it may dissuade people from using these products as well as increase funding of health care (that is only if our taxes do go to the program).

Cigarettes sold in a convenience store. Photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

The current tax of P35 per cigarette pack will rise to P37.50 in July. This will be the start of the P2.50 increase applied to cigarette packs yearly. It will amount to P40 in July 2020, P42.50 in July 2021, and P45.00 in July 2022.

“This is a key public health measure to reduce deaths and disabilities due to tobacco and alcohol consumption and, at the same time, a revenue measure to fund the universal health care program,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

However, as expressed in a statement by Saturnino Distor, president of the Philippine Tobacco Growers Association Inc., this will kill the local industry. “[The increase] has directly impacted our production and caused the displacement of a lot of farmers,” he said.

For alcohol products, a 22-percent tax rate on retail price will be added for each distilled spirits and a specific tax of P30 for each liter. The rate will increase yearly until it reaches the P45 per liter mark in 2022.

Fuel oils such as Diesel and Bunker will face an increase of excise tax of P4.50 for each volume capacity while Naptha, regular gasoline, pyrolysis gasoline, and other similar gasoline products, including Unleaded premium, will have a P9-increase per liter volume capacity.

Photo courtesy of Nino Jesus Orbeta/Inquirer.net

Motor fuels, refined and manufactured mineral oils and other lubricating oils and greases will also face a P9-increase.

It’s best that we take note of these tax rate increases for proper tracking of our purchases, basic necessities or not.


Header image courtesy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

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