Duterte certifies bill to pass excise tax on tobacco as urgent
President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent the passage of a bill seeking to increase the excise tax on tobacco products.
In a letter sent to Senate President Vicente Sotto III on May 28, Duterte said there is a "necessity of the immediate enactment" of Senate Bill No. 2233.
This is "to address the urgent need to further protect the right to health of the people and to maintain a broader fiscal space to support the effective implementation of the Universal Health Care Act," he said.
A copy of a letter was also furnished to House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
SB 2233 seeks to impose an excise tax based on the following schedules: P45 per pack effective on Jan. 1, 2020; P50 per pack effective on Jan. 1, 2021; P55 per pack effective on Jan. 1, 2022; and P60 per pack effective on Jan. 1, 2023.
Lawmakers have four session days to ratify the final version of the proposed measure and submit it for Duterte’s approval as the 17th Congress is to adjourn on June 7. Celerina Monte/DMS