Government misses tobacco tax targets

The government’s tax collection from tobacco products did not meet the objectives assigned to the sector over the past two years, strengthening the case of Aquino administration for a tax increase sin.

Besides the lack of purpose in 2010 and 2011, the excise tax on cigarettes also decreased in 2011 in compurgation with the previous year, the latest data from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) showed.

Data showed that the BIR collected P31.7 billion from the tobacco excise tax in 2010, 18% lower than the P37.4 billion target for the year.

It refused to P26 billion in 2011, 9.5% lower than the target of a tax P28.7 billion for the period, BIR data also showed.

On the other hand, the collection of excise taxes on alcohol hit the appropriate targets in 2010 and 2011, only hairline.

Excise duties on alcoholic beverages totaled P21.8 billion in 2010, 5% higher than the target P22.9 billion.

In 2011, the BIR collected P22.9 billion excise taxes on alcohol, 0.9% higher than the P22.7 billion target of the tax type, the data also showed.

This year, BIR hopes to collect P71.089 billion in excise taxes including the oil, mining and other various products.

In 2010, the BIR collected a total of P67.2 billion excise tax - including on oil and other products - and P68 billion in 2011.

The Ministry of Finance (DOF) provides a measure of sin tax, which would translate to P60 billion in the first year, but the House of Representatives approved a watered-down version in June, which would mean additional income P31.35 billion in the first year of implementation.

In four hearings held by the Senate ways and means committee, the Finance Secretary Cesar

Purisima and Health Minister Enrique Ona said Finance supported the measure will translate into additional resources for the health sector, and can even eliminate the need for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) hiking assessments members in the near future.

As approved by the House of Representatives, at least 85% of tax revenues a new measure of sins will go to health care, including health insurance for the poor and the informal sector in the national health insurance program.

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