Press Release
November 27, 2019


Senator Richard J. Gordon stated on Tuesday that a right balancing system is essential in the plan to increase the taxes on alcohol and tobacco products.

During the interpellation for Senate Bill No. 1074 or the Sin Tax Reform Bill sponsored by Senator Pia S. Cayetano, Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Gordon pointed out that while he supports having more resources for the country, public health should also be considered and be given importance.

"We should look for a balancing system wherein we can allow the alcohol and tobacco. But with higher taxes, our people will somehow be discouraged to consume both products. The objective is to make them not easily accessible to the public, especially to the minors, and to curb the vices. In the realm of the capitalist society, it is really trying to make the business strive, and at the same time, trying to protect the public. So, while we allow the use and selling of cigarettes and alcoholic drinks, we also earn revenue that we can use to fund our government's programs," he said.

He also said that the sin tax should be put in the context of how the country's interests are guaranteed. He said that he wants more finance opportunities for the government not just because the country needs more infrastructures and funding for social services, but because "we need more tools for national defense", as well.

"The point I want to make here is that we have to be very sensible and clever with how we impose taxes. If we are going to tax, let's tax wisely and be direct to our people that this is a revenue measure for us to combat other issues," he said.

SB No. 1074 aims to amend the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997. If passed, the new set of taxes for alcohol and cigarette products is expected to produce P40 billion to P50 billion in revenues. Part of it will be allotted for the implementation of the Universal Health Care law.

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