Senate missing Oct. 13 timeline for passage of tax reform package 1

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Senator Juan Edgardo Angara. INTERAKSYON FILE

MANILA – The Senate will miss its October 13 deadline to pass tax reform package 1.

This Friday is the last session day before lawmakers go on a month-long recess.

Ways and means committee chair Juan Edgardo Angara told Bloomberg they don’t intend to vote on the bill this week because many senators want to amend provisions in the tax plan.

For one, Sen. Manny Pacquiao is proposing a higher tobacco excise tax. He introduced a bill that will double the unitary excise tax on tobacco to 60 pesos by next year, and will increase it by 9% every year thereafter.

The Finance department is targeting to get congressional approval by early December, for implementation in January.

About two weeks ago, Angara also said they were on track to put it to a vote. He has since changed that, saying December to January 2018 seems to be a more realistic target for approval.

Among the differences in the Senate version from the House-approved version are the lower income tax exemption and lower fuel excise taxes on the first year of implementation.

The Senate committee also excluded instant coffee and milk products in the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

The Finance department estimates that the current Senate version will yield just P60 billion on Year One — half of what the House version will generate.