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Philippines Government Urged To Increase Tobacco Excise Taxes

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

13 November 2007


The World Health Organization is strongly advising the government of the Philippines to increase excise taxes on cigarettes, citing the low tax on such products in the country as one of the catalysts in the increase of tobacco-related diseases, it has emerged.

The request was put forward in a letter sent to the Philippine Department of Finance, which argued that the low tax on cigarettes is not helping to discourage their purchase.

According to reports in the national media this week, Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran commented: "They...asked us if we could raise the tax some more because it is true that the tax here is low compared with what is imposed in neighboring countries."

The Philippines currently imposes the lowest excise tax on cigarettes among Southeast Asian countries.

Beltran reportedly went on to state that the DOF was willing to work with the idea of raising the excise tax on cigarettes, and acknowledged that the existing tax rates were out of date. However, he did suggest that implementing such changes would be difficult.


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