MANILA - Smoking will be a costlier habit from 2018, with higher excise duties on tobacco under the first package of President Rodrigo Duterte's tax reform.
Based on the new schedule for "sin" taxes, the duty on tobacco products will be raised to P32.50 per pack from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2018. and further to P35 from July 1 next year to Dec. 31, 2019. The current rate stands at P30.
It will be increased further to P37.50 from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2021, and to P40 from Jan. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2023. From Jan 1., 2024, the levy will be increased by 4 percent annually.
Under a 2012 law that restructured levies on tobacco products and spirits, the P30 tax per pack will be be increased annually by 4 percent from Jan. 1, 2018.
Senator Manny Pacquiao filed a bill earlier this year seeking to double the unitary tax on cigarettes from the current P30 per pack to P60 per pack. Pacquiao also wanted to hike the yearly increase in cigarette taxes to 9 percent from 4 percent.
The non-profit think tank Action for Economic Reforms estimated that this result in P50 billion to P60 billion in revenue.