'Vanity tax' an alternative to fuel levy, lawmaker says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 12 2017 11:53 AM | Updated as of Jan 12 2017 05:42 PM

MANILA - Imposing taxes on make-up and other beauty products is a "better alternative" to raising duties on petroleum products, a lawmaker said.

Ako-Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe offered the "vanity tax" in place of excise taxes on fuel, which is being pushed by President Rodrigo Duterte's economic team to offset a planned reduction in income taxes.

“While the poor can avoid the use of beauty products, they however, cannot avoid using public transportation or purchasing basic commodities.” Batocabe said.

Instead of taxing petroleum products, Batocabe said the government should plug leakages and expand its tax base to include "stable" industries like beauty and cosmetics.

Batocabe said sales of cosmetics have been rising in the last decade as consumers see beauty products as necessities rather than luxuries.

His bill seeks to impose a 30-percent tax on the wholesale price or import value of beauty products, including perfumes and toiletries. -- with reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News