Is that you Vicki Bello? Drilon bares strong pressure to scuttle vanity tax
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday disclosed that there’s a very strong lobbying against the imposition of so-called “vanity tax” on cosmetic procedures and surgeries.
Drilon admitted being approached by some lobby groups but he claimed he was standing his ground on the imposition of excise taxes on cosmetic procedures.
“Yes, may kausap, pero ang sabi ko ay as a matter of principle, we should impose the cosmetic tax, because we are increasing the excise tax on fuel, which affects everybody. Yung pangunahing bilihin, tataas dahil dito. Yung mga magsasaka, yung mga mangingsida. The poorer sector of the society will be affected, so why can we not impose a tax on an activity which is purely luxury?” he asked.
The said “excise” tax on cosmetic procedures is a ket part of the first package of the tax reform program of the Duterte administration, the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.
“Certainly may mga naglo-lobby. There’s a very strong lobby (against it),” Drilon said in an interview with reporters.
Asked if the lobby comes from the affected sector, Drilon said “yes, I assume.”
Drilon has sought for the imposition of at least 10 percent vanity tax and was approved by his colleagues in the Senate version.
The original proposal was a 20 percent excise tax on cosmetic surgeries and procedures but senators agreed to lower it to 10 percent as a compromise.
Drilon has used bilyonarya Vicki Bello as an example to underscore the unfairness of having filthy rich cosmetic surgeons blowing millions to flaunt their wealth while refusing to pay taxes to the government. In contrast, Drilon said farmers, fishermen and ordinary workers have shoulderd the bulk of the proposed hikes on fuel, vehicles and coal.
ANC’s Karen Davila revealed that Bello complained about being singled out by Drilon claiming she “worked hard for her money.”
As the bicameral conference committee continues to thresh out the conflicting provisions in the versions of the two Houses, Drilon said he was uncertain whether the cosmetic lobbyists would prevail.
“I stand on the basis that we should impose a cosmetic tax as a matter of principle. The (lower) house has taken a position that a cosmetic tax should not be imposed,” he said.