Asthma is not a walk in the park. I had some very annoying asthma attacks in the past few months, no thanks ridiculously unstable weather and countless smoke clouded the conference rooms and offices I had to endure recently.
The doctor gave me a choice between the beach and my room. And I am afraid the idea of anti-trafficking and endure a long trip to a decent beach, where I can have some peace and quiet, I decided to stay at home, turn the air conditioner in my room, reading old purses and watch DVD-discs. There is something to be said for peaceful room with no noise, stress, and, yes, the cigarette smoke, the scourge of the existence of each asthmatic author.
All this talk of cigarette smoke, however, makes me think of the upcoming changes in the law of the excise tax on alcohol and tobacco products. Every time Congress makes changes in our laws and taxes, I’m a little worried, because I’m concerned about how these changes will affect their daily lives, and I say this from the point of view of both the tax practitioner and a Filipino citizen. Now, because I like to enjoy Pinoy his beer and cigarettes, it is not surprising that people are concerned about how the new excise tax provisions will affect the price of a cold bottle of beer and cigarettes.
Experience tells us, however, that any change in tax laws in the country has the potential to be a double-edged sword, and the only question is which side of the sword will cut through the daily life of Juan de la Cruz? In the case of the excise tax on cigarettes, it is definitely a double edged sword that will make producers Toledo sword sit and notice. So, let’s take a look at each side of the blade, is not it?
I try to be a positive thinker, so let’s look at the advantages of raising excise taxes on tobacco products. There are some very real benefits that can occur, and the first thing that smokers can simply reduce their cigarette consumption. Raising taxes means that it will cost more to light, and fewer cigarettes sold will mean cleaner air for everyone. This just might translate into fewer days when my friends come to me wheezing like a car, which is in dire need of TuneUp.
Still others say that higher cigarette prices may discourage young people from acquiring the habit is becoming common to see young people smoke a stick or two outside of school buildings, between classes. Smoking seems to be a “cool”, and it is quite disturbing truth is that smokers are getting younger and younger these days, raising the specter of a generation or two of Filipinos with crippling respiratory disease.
As a father myself, I’m just happy that my two children do not even come within a mile of cigarettes. Unfortunately, other parents are not as fortunate as I am, and I am sure they would welcome, and a sharp increase in cigarette prices in the hope that their children will be put off from spending so much on a stick rolled-leaf!
Now, the tax practice I can understand why the government wants to increase the excise duty on tobacco and alcohol products, because it is something that for many years, tobacco companies have not had to deal with higher taxes. This, in any case, you look at it, unfair to other industries that have seen higher tax rates over time, and it’s easy to understand why the government is working to improve the situation.
Economic development is always best achieved when there is a level playing field for all industries, and as each sector has, as much as possible, an equal share of responsibility in support of national development.
Some cynics will say that the government increase the rates of excise duty is not so much to level the playing field, but also increase the income of the industrial sector is particularly profitable in the end, millions of Pinoys can be seen puffing away in all kinds of places, from street corner to corner office.
But then, no one can argue with the need to raise taxes, which, as we all know, is absolutely necessary if we are going to support things such as peace and order, health, and so on.
Either way you look at it, you can not run the government on a tight budget, or do not come cheap for national development. All-smokers included, have to pay their share of taxes and invest in the future of the country.
I am particularly pleased with reports that there are plans to raise the excise tax revenue health programs, special sector management, which I personally think needs to be funded as generously as possible.
All these considerations are excellent reasons to increase the excise tax on cigarettes. But, as I said, the increase in tax rates can be a double-edged sword. And in the case of excise duty on cigarettes, here’s the catch, if all goes to plan, the new excise tax will raise taxes on tobacco products so much that the price of cigarettes will certainly hit stratospheric levels. And cigarettes, I do not mean those fancy imported cigarettes, but cigarettes that local production to cigarette manufacturers that use local labor and using local resources.
It does not take Stephen Hawking to realize that if the price of local cigarettes is rising faster than the Iron Man at full throttle, there is bound to be an impact on the economy, and it definitely will not be pretty. The first victim will be the tobacco industry itself-astronomical retail prices of locally produced cigarettes, which are by far the most popular and best-selling cigarette, it can mean not only a reduction, but the nose-dive in the sale of cigarettes. And if that happens, the government’s goal to increase revenue from the higher excise tax will eventually is defeated.