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Philippines’ sin tax fails to cut smoking

| March 28, 2014

The Philippines Senate wants to summon cigarette manufacturers and officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to explain why the country’s year-old “sin tax” law has failed to reduce smoking among Filipinos, which was the rationale behind the law.

According to a story in The Philippine Star, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the congressional oversight committee on comprehensive tax reform (COCCTR), said he wanted the BIR and BOC to provide accurate data on tobacco importation, cigarette production, tobacco taxes and cigarette excise.

Angara noted that there had been persistent reports of alleged smuggling of leaf tobacco and other cigarette-making materials.

He said he wanted to get information from the BIR and BOC officials about why smuggling continued to proliferate and whether there was truth in reports that some cigarette manufacturers were evading payment of cigarette taxes.

Angara said that he and his fellow lawmakers were unhappy with the presentations given by the BIR and BOC during the last hearing of the COCCTR.

“It’s really important for the BOC and BIR data to match, because if tobacco used for producing cigarettes are mixed with undeclared imported tobacco leaves, then [tax] collection will suffer,” Angara said.

Category: Breaking News

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