Senate passed the Sin Tax Reform Bill

The Philippine Senate has finally approved in 3rd and final reading Senate Bill 3299 or commonly known as the Sin Tax Reform Bill. After 16 years, the bill has finally passed the Senate and is now moving on the Bicameral conference committee.

With the vote of 15-2, 15 being in favor of the bill and 2 opposing it, the Sin Tax Reform bill has been passed after several deliberations on its amendments. Voting for the bill were Senators Juan Ponce Enrile (Senate President), Ferdinand Marcos Jr, Jinggoy Estrada, Vicente Sotto III, Drilon, Pia Cayetano, Lito Lapid, Aquilino Pimentel III, Teofisto Guingona III, Loren Legarda, Bong Revilla, Gregorio Honasan II, Manuel Villar Jr, Ralph Recto and Panfilo Lacson. And the 2 that opposed were Senators Joker Arroyo and Chiz Escudero.

“I’m pleased to announce that we have passed on second and third reading the sin tax bill,” – Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair Sen. Frank Drilon.

During the period of amendments the Senate have agreed to imposed the unitary tax rate of Php26 on a staggered basis and will be applied differently on a 3-tier system.

1st tier : Low-end machine-packed cigarettes will start at 12Php by January 2013, going up to 15Php pesos in 2014, 18Php in 2015, 21Php by 2016 and 26Php by 2017.

2nd tier : Mid-priced machine-packed cigarettes will start at 16php in 2013, 18Php in 2014, 22Php by 2015, 24Php by 2016 and 26Php by 2017.

3rd tier : High-end machine-packed cigarettes will start at 20Php by 2013, 21Php by 2014, 22Php by 2015, 24Php by 2016 and 26Php by 2017.

Drilon also said the approved bill will enable the government to collect the following revenues per year; 39.5Php billion in 2013, 45.7Php billion in 2014, 52.3Php billion in 2015, 57.7Php billion in 2016 and 64.4Php billion in 2017.

Meanwhile, for the alcoholic drinks, the following tax will be imposed;

Distilled Wines : 20Php per proof liter, plus 15% of the net retail price by January 2013 and 20Php per proof liter plus 20% of net retail price by January 2012.

Sparkling Wines : less than 500 pesos per 750 ml will be taxed 250Php, and those above 500Php will be taxed 700Php.

Still Wines and Carbonated Wines : 30 – 60Php depending on alcohol percentage.

Fermented Liquor : less than 22Php per liter =  20Php tax per liter and worth over 22Php per liter = 25Php tax per liter.

The bill will now go to the Bicam Conference Committee, where both Senate and House Bills will be reconciled before it will be passed into law and send to Malacañang for the Presidents signature.

Having it passed and signed into law will be a historic triumph for those health advocates who for the longest time are fighting for this bill to be passed. It will also a good legacy for the current government because its one measure that will not only help in generating taxes but also with its benefits for Filipinos health and well being.


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