Cesar Purisima on House Bill No. 5727 - Restructuring of excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol


Statement of Secretary of Finance Cesar V. Purisima:
On the approval of House Bill No. 5727 in the House Committee on Ways and Means
[May 9, 2012]
We congratulate the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Chairman Isidro Ungab, in passing the amended version of House Bill 5727 which outlines the much-needed reform in the excise tax regime of the tobacco and alcohol industry.
This approval marks a landmark in the history of the Philippine legislature, as it paves the way for a significant restructuring of excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol after more than 15 years. These reforms will enable us to increase the cost of tobacco and alcohol addiction while at the same time providing government with additional resources to respond to the public costs of these vices. The restructuring of the tax system will also create a more level playing field in the tobacco market as well as enable us to comply with our WTO commitments.
Chairman Ungab, together with various stakeholders, has had extensive dialogue on this issue and have deemed the amended version of House Bill 5727 as the best way forward to address the concerns of all those affected. The Aquino Administration is grateful for his leadership as well as the support of Speaker Belmonte, in having this landmark measure approved in the Committee. We look forward to having this bill passed by next month, and enacted into law within the year.