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Senators sign bill on higher excise tax on tobacco

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By Hannah Torregoza

A 17-page draft committee report on the bill seeking to further increase excise tax on tobacco products is now being routed for signature among senators.

The International Labor Organization had justified its ties to tobacco companies as a way of helping improve the working conditions of the some 60 million people involved in tobacco leaf growing and production worldwide, notably in Africa and Asia. (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

(AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

The draft report, which the Senate committee on ways and means, chaired by Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara prepared, seeks to increase excise tax on tobacco products between P45 and P60 per pack gradually starting next year.

Based on the draft, the tax rates would still be increased by five percent every year starting Jan. 1, 2024.

“Yes, it’s to be increased to P45 and progressively increasing every year 45-50-55-60,” Angara said in a text message.

At least 18 members of the committee need to sign the report before it can be transmitted to the Senate floor for plenary debates.

Sources said that apart from Angara, senators Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian and Panfilo “Ping” Lacson have signed the report.

Lacson confirmed he signed the draft copy but “will interpellate.”

According to the draft, tax rates would still be increased by 5 percent every year starting January 1, 2024.

Senators who filed the bill increasing the excise tax on cigarettes include Gatchalian, Ejercito, and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

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