The increase has to be high enough to stop people from smoking for good.
The Department of Finance (DOF) is not backing down from the battle to nearly double the excise tax imposed on cigarettes, with Secretary Carlos Dominguez III reviving the lobbying in Senate.
The House of Representatives already approved a bill raising the tax on cigarette from P35 per pack to P37.50 beginning July 2019. The amount will rise to P40 in July 2020, P42.50 in July 2021, and P45 in July 2022 and by four percent annually thereafter.
But this isn’t enough for Dominguez, who wants to kill smoking for good. The DOF is actually calling for a surge in excise tax to P60 per pack in 2019, plus an annual nine percent increase afterwards.
“The society has to agree what is more important: enough money for healthcare or favoring companies that produce products that damage health? That’s what society has to agree on, and that’s what the representatives in the legislature are supposed to reflect,” Dominguez said.