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Cost of cigarettes, alcohol going up

Manila, Philippines – Retail prices of cigarettes and alcohol have started to rise substantially because of the 2012 sin tax law that adjusts their excise tax rates yearly.

Under Revenue Regulation No. 17-2012, the tax rate for cigarettes packed in 20s and retailed at P11.50 and below is now P17 for low-priced brands like those produced by Mighty Corp.

For premium brands and retailed at more than P11.50 per pack like Marlboro, Philip Morris, and Winston manufactured by Philip Morris-Fortune Tobacco Corp., the tax is P27.

Their excise tax rates for 2013 were P12 and P25 for low and high priced brands, respectively.

The law prescribes yearly hike in excise tax until 2017 when the rate for both low and high priced brands will be uniformly fixed at P30 per pack.

The excise tax rate for beer and other fermented liquor was hiked from P20 to P21 per liter or about
P6.035 per 355 milliliter bottle. The excise tax rate for distilled spirits like rum, brandy, and vodka will not be changed until 2017.

After 2014, the specific tax rate for beer and other fermented drinks will be increased by four percent annually, taking into account the net retail price, the alcohol content, and size of the bottle.

Under the regulation, any alcohol or liquor product introduced in the market on or after the effectivity of the law shall be classified according to the suggested retail price as declared by the manufacturer’s or importer’s sworn declaration.

The regulation implemented Republic Act 10351 to curb the incidence of diseases like cancer and heart attack caused by smoking and drinking and not really to raise collection.

BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said then that the government is spending more in treating smoke and drink-related illnesses than what it collects from this source. (Jun Ramirez)