Sin Tax Bill Essay

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The law imposes higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol products, overcoming a strong industry lobby that kept prices in the Philippines among the cheapest in the world. It will generate additional revenues of roughly P34 billion in the first year of implementation that will be spent for the universal health care program and tobacco farmers' livelihood. Aquino, who flexed his political muscle to get the measure passed, thanked lawmakers and advocates who helped push for the reform bill. "Many believed it was impossible to pass the sin tax bill. Those who are opposing it are strong, noisy, organized, and they have deep pockets." "But we have proven: nothing is impossible for Filipinos who are sailing in the same direction, whose hearts are in the right place, and who are ready to fight for their principles," he said. He then gave assurance that the law will provide "a level playing field" for industry players. "It's not fair that different taxes are applied on the same products," he stressed. Passing the measure is a milestone for Aquino, who succeeded in what his predecessors tried but failed to do. Efforts to restructure the excise tax system never made it out of committee level in Congress in nearly 16 years. Debates, controversies The road to a reformed sin tax structure was thorny. It was full of heated debates that diluted what was initially an ideal bill, as well as controversies that saw the resignation of some lawmakers from their committee posts. In the Senate, ways and means committee chairman Senator Franklin Drilon pushed for the measure, saying it will not only increase government collections, but also discourage the poor from consuming sin products and keep them from getting sick. But Senators Ralph Recto and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr argued that the bill would displace tobacco farmers and exacerbate smuggling. Drilon

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