MANILA - The total number of cigarette tax stamps issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) during the lockdown of Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon fell by more than half, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Tuesday.
The BIR issued 537.13 million cigarette tax stamps from March to June, down 59-percent from the 1.32 billion tax stamps it issued in the same period last year, the DOF said.
The value of the cigarette tax stamps, which are meant to ensure that correct excise taxes are paid, fell to P18.88 billion from P59.46 billion issued in the same period last year.
In May alone, the BIR issued only P299.89 million worth of cigarette stamp taxes, compared to the P17.33 billion issued in May 2019, the DOF said.
After Metro Manila and several other areas in the country shifted to the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) in June, the DOF said the BIR saw a drastic improvement, with P9.26 billion worth of cigarette stamp taxes released that month.
However, compared to the June 2019 volume, this was still P3.76 billion lower than the P13.03 billion released by the BIR during that period.
Excise taxes from tobacco products like cigarettes are meant to go to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp to fund the universal healthcare program.