Mareng Winnie blames Lucio Tan-led lobby for Dominguez’s relegation of cigarette taxes
Former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Winnie Monsod is blaming the tobacco lobby led by Bilyonaryo Lucio Tan, owner of Philip Morris- Fortune Tobacco, for setting aside the tax increases on cigarettes.
“How come the sin tax isn’t being pushed in this first package of tax reforms, but, rather, has been relegated to the fifth package from the second package it was originally in?” asked Monsod in her Philippine Daily Inquirer column.
Monsod said that Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Sonny Dominguez’s office explained that the government was still studying the effects of the unitary taxes on cigarettes that took effect this year.
Monsod brushed aside the DOF’s explanation as nothing but a delaying tactic.
She noted that there have been studies on the correlation between smoking prevalence and revenue generation by experts like Dr. Antonio Dans of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine as early as 2012 that have been proven valid. “No need to wait another six months to prove this,” said Monsod.