Philippines’ tobacco playing field ‘leveled’ by new sin tax heavy roller

| December 13, 2012

British American Tobacco said yesterday that it would invest $200 million in the Philippines during the next five years, according to a story in The Manila Bulletin.

The company was reported as saying that, following the ratification of a new tobacco and alcohol tax regime on December 11, players in the local tobacco industry could now compete on a level playing field that opened up expanded opportunities.

‘It can – and we are confident it will – open up expanded opportunities for the industry stakeholders, not only the manufacturers but distributors, retailers, employees and the tobacco farmers,’ BAT was reported to have said in a statement.

The company said also that it believed that, contrary to the predictions of doomsayers, the new law would be beneficial to the country for the additional revenues it would generate for funding its social programs.

Certainly, not everybody saw it BAT’s way. As was reported here yesterday, Bayan Muna Representative, Neri Colmenares, said the approved bill was a regressive, anti-Filipino form of taxation that favored imports over local brands and jeopardized the job security of small farmers and workers in the tobacco and alcohol industries.

BAT went on to say that it saluted ‘the wisdom and courage of the Executive Department and Congress in taking the bold step of reforming the Sin Tax Law after 16 years. We are looking forward to competing in the market and contributing to the growth of the Philippine economy,’ it added.

Category: Breaking News

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