MANILA, Philippines - British American Tobacco, maker of Lucky Strike cigarettes, said it will now push through with its $200 million 5-year investment plan for the Philippines.
The company had earlier said it will invest in the Philippines only if the sin tax reform measure is signed into law. Congress is scheduled to ratify the bicameral conference committee report on the sin tax bill on Tuesday afternoon, and the is expected to be signed into law in the next few days.
"It can – and we are confident it will -- open up expanded opportunities for the industry stakeholders, not only the manufacturers but distributors, retailers, employees and the tobacco farmers," BAT said.
BAT said the new law will benefit the country, as additional revenues will go to the health sector.
"BAT salutes the wisdom and courage of the Executive Department and Congress in taking the bold step of reforming the Sin Tax Law after 16 years. We are looking forward to competing in the market and contributing to the growth of the Philippine economy," BAT said.
Aside from Lucky Strike, BAT's other brands include Dunhill, Kent and Pall Mall.
In February, the company returned to the Philippine market. BAT had pulled out in 2009 after it had failed to get the same tax treatment as cigarette brands that were already in the market as of 1996.