MANILA, Philippines - A senator from the tobacco-producing Ilocos region on Thursday vowed to vote against the sin tax bill if his amendments will not be considered.
Senator Bongbong Marcos told reporters that "flaws and inadequacies" of the bill might not be effective in raising revenues from the tobacco industry and funding of government health programs.
"Mali kasi yung mga numerong ginamit nila na basis kaya baka hindi din nila maabot yung target nilang revenue," he said.
According to Marcos, the bill uses an impractical approach by imposing a high price on cigarettes.
He refused to subscribe to the position that consumers will still buy cigarettes despite their high cost.
"Malamang ang punta ng consumer pag ganyan, yung smuggled at iyung counterfeit," said Marcos.
If that happens, the government will fail to reach the P26.8 billion revenue target from sin taxes on cigarettes, he added.
Even the estimate on agricultural production in their region is erroneous, according to Marcos.
The estimate used as a basis for studying the bill's effects on tobacco farmers.
Alternative crops are being introduced but Marcos said the estimate is not consistent with reality.
"Doble yung binigay nila, samantalang alam naman namin kung magkano ang kinikita sa bawang, sibuyas," he said.