TODAY'S BUSINESS HEADLINES

PSEi remain firm, PHP touches 50-level vs US dollar 19-Jan-17, 10:14 PM | Philippines News Agency

WATCH | Construction of LRT-MRT common station starts Dec. 2017 18-Jan-17, 7:11 PM | Aerol B. Patena, Philippines News Agency | Gerard dela Peña, News5

CASH SUBSIDY | Govt eyes safety net vs excise taxes 19-Jan-17, 5:16 PM | Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon

Real estate industry to sustain growth this year - Santos Knight Frank 18-Jan-17, 4:22 PM | Jose Bimbo F. Santos, InterAksyon.com

2013 starts with higher tobacco and alcohol prices as Sin Tax kicks in

InterAksyon.com means BUSINESS

MANILA - Many stores started selling tobacco and drink at inflated prices before midnight on Monday, ahead of the official implementation of the tax hikes on January 1.

Tax on cigarettes will gradually be raised to 30 pesos ($0.72) per pack by 2017, roughly doubling the current price to around 52 pesos.

Duty on alcohol will also increase gradually until 2017, increasing the price of a bottle of beer by 23.50 pesos, with varying levels for other drinks including wine and spirits. It will be further increased by four percent each year thereafter.

"The new prices compared to countries like Singapore for example, are still low, but for the ordinary Filipinos they are expensive," said Laudemer Angeles, a 33-year-old shop owner in the town of Bacoor, south of Manila.

"Many of my customers were complaining about the higher prices and were not too happy when they bought their booze and smokes for their parties last night."

Anti-smoking campaigner Emer Rojas said he hoped the new taxes would lead to a gradual decline in the number of people suffering from tobacco-related illness.

"I think the sin taxes should even be raised higher," he told AFP. "But we commend President Aquino for showing his resolve in signing the law."

The government has said that the country of 100 million has the highest incidence of smoking in the region, with tobacco-related diseases costing the country 177 billion pesos ($4.3 billion) last year.

The new taxes aim to raise 33 billion pesos ($800 million) this year alone, gradually increasing over the coming years.

A large percentage of the money will go towards the government's health care programme.

The government first asked parliament to raise taxes on "sin" products as early as 1997, but a strong lobby by tobacco manufacturers stifled change.

The lobby included members of parliament representing tobacco-growing regions as well as powerful cigarette companies that enjoyed one of the lowest tobacco taxes in Southeast Asia.

 

advertisement
OTHER BUSINESS STORIES
OTHER NATIONAL STORIES
BREAKING NEWS