'Vanity tax' proposal withdrawn in Congress


Posted at Jan 16 2017 02:26 PM

MANILA - A lawmaker said Monday he was withdrawing his proposal to tax beauty products after drawing criticism from various groups.

Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe sought the new levy in place of a proposed excise tax on fuel, which he said would unnecessarily burden the poor.

"We do realize from the sentiments that taxing beauty products would also adversely affect certain sectors, which according to some, would also deprive them of their basic happiness," Batocabe said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte's economic team is pushing for additional revenue sources to offset a planned reduction in income taxes as he fulfills his campaign promise to revamp the system.

Batocabe said he would "ensure efficiency in tax collections and plug leakages in the petroleum and beauty industries."

Several lawmakers opposed Batocabe's proposal, saying the tax might be unfair to some sectors. 

Netizens also thumbed down the tax proposal, with the hashtag #DontTaxMyBeauty trending across social media platforms.