After the swift passage of House Bill 1026 in the House of Representatives,

23 Aug 2019

Health advocates hope the new sin tax bill on alcohol, vapes would soon be signed into law.

Health advocacy groups expressed hope that the recent approval of House Bill (HB) No. 1026 would pave the way for an even better version in the Senate and will eventually be signed into law.

 

Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) Philippines' Executive Director, Dr. Ma. Encarnita B. Limpin, said that significant tax rates on alcohol and new smoking products are an effective means of discouraging the young and the poor from risky and harmful consumption of alcohol, electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products. 

“Studies have shown that use of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products expose people to the same harmful chemicals of regular or traditional cigarettes. This claim from the industry that their products are less harmful are without basis. We are happy that the House of Representatives, through the leadership of House Committee on Ways and Means Chairperson and Albay Representative Joey Salceda and the rest of the lawmakers, have passed this other sin tax bill and we are eagerly looking out for an even better version in the Senate,” said Limpin.

 

Meanwhile, Asia Pacific Association for the Study of Liver (APASL) President Dr. Diana Payawal emphasized that “same as tobacco, there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.”

 

She added that the increase in alcohol tax will deter the youth from engaging in risky behavior that can result to liver and gut cancers, and even death. 

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives approved on 3rd and final reading HB 1026 with a vote of 184-2-1. Under the bill, a higher tax will be imposed on alcohol and heated tobacco products including vape and e-cigarettes. 

Starting 2020, distilled spirits will have a P30 specific tax per proof, P32 for beer products, P60 for still wines and carbonated wines. The specific tax rate will increase by seven percent annually beginning in 2023. 

Meanwhile, heated tobacco products will be taxed P45 per pack of 20 units effective Jan. 2020, Nicotine salt will be taxed P35 per milliliter, while freebase or classic nicotine will be taxed P4.50 per millimeter, and vape products will be taxed by each cartridge, refill pod or container with liquids or gels. The tax likewise would be increased by five percent every year starting 2024. 

The raise on the excise tax on alcohol and e-cigarette products is expected to generate P33.6 billion revenue for the government which will be used to fund the Universal Healthcare Act. (30).

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