• June 15, 2024

Tax hike sought

 Tax hike sought

An anti-tobacco activist has called on the Philippine government to raise cigarette prices by 1,000 percent, reports The Philippine Inquirer.

Florante Trinidad of the WHO Tobacco-Free Initiative program said price hikes are justified regardless of arguments that driving tobacco companies out of business would be counterproductive.

In June, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed a law increasing the cigarette tax from PHP35 ($0.67) to PHP45 by 2020, to be followed by an annual PHP5 hike until 2023.

A leading cigarette brand now sells for PHP110 a pack.

Trinidad said Philippine tobacco taxes are still below the 82.2 percent tax hike imposed in New Zealand and the 77.5 percent increase imposed in Australia.