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DOF expects higher sin tax collections

Neal Cruz’s column on the effects of the Sin Tax Law on cigarette smuggling (“Cheap cigarettes from China flooding PH,” Opinion, 10/9/13) is marred with inaccuracies.

Posted: October 13th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Time to vote, save lives


There are posters put up downtown by some heartless monsters that say, “NO TO SIN TAX, JOBS NOT TAXES,” as it is “Anti-laborers, anti-farmers, anti-poor.”

Posted: November 29th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Too high sin taxes may result in less revenue


I read only recently Senator Ralph Recto’s sponsorship speech on Senate Bill 3299, the Sin Tax bill, as reported out by the Committee on Ways and Means that he headed until recently, and I think he is unfairly being demonized by those who would mostly benefit from it. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, and Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares criticized Recto for paring down the projected income from the very high taxes on cigarettes and liquor from P60 billion to only P15 billion. The combined pummeling forced Recto to resign the chairmanship of the committee. Sen. Franklin Drilon took over the position.

Posted: October 22nd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Imagining Mindanao


It was a lot to ask of the Filipino people: to flex our imaginative muscles and “imagine” a new order, a new way of life in Mindanao.

Posted: October 16th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Recto’s shell game

The watered-down sin tax bill Senator Ralph Recto revealed last week did not only propose a revenue goal on the low end of expectations; it represented a new low, period. Bandying fancy terms like “equilibrium,” Recto, the chair of the Senate committee on ways and means, deceived both the administration he is allied with and the people he is supposed to serve with a rationalization that only the tobacco companies could love.

Posted: October 15th, 2012 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Don’t lose the window


Congress has before it 10 bills that I think must pass into law before sessions end in June next year if the Philippines is to truly progress. They are laws that this country needs if it is to break out of the morass of the past 40 years (or since martial law began a rot that has left the Philippines at the bottom of the Asean heap).

Posted: August 15th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Bills to pass


“It’s open war on Church, bishops say,” reads a headline in this newspaper, and so it should be. For 13 years the church has opposed this eminently sensible and desperately needed legislation.

Posted: July 26th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The ‘Sin Tax’ Bill: Promoting the Nation’s Health and Plugging Lucio Tan’s Loophole for Legal Tax Evasion


The Philippines has scandalously low taxes on two commodities that have been proven killers of individuals, destroyers of families, and threats to national economic security: cigarettes and spirits.

Posted: May 31st, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

High sin taxes may promote terrorism


Greed often makes the greedy ones blind to the repercussions of greed. We cannot find a better example of such greed and blindness as the proposed bill of Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, which would increase excise taxes on cigarettes and liquor by more than 1,000 percent. Supporters of the bill are easily blinded by the billions of pesos in additional revenue that higher sin taxes will bring to the government. They think that smuggling is a victimless crime, basically a law enforcement problem that simply deprives government of potential incomes.

Posted: April 22nd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Attention, legislators: ‘Sin tax’ reforms needed

The editorial “Equitable taxation” (Inquirer, 4/10/12) is spot-on, timely, and a matter that should be given much more importance by our legislators who are currently on recess.

Posted: April 19th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Learn from data-backed research, not myths

Neal Cruz’s March 22 column on sin tax reforms and smuggling is laden with misconceptions and inaccuracies. First, the claim that high prices will not discourage consumption disregards the fundamental law of demand (i.e., as prices increase, demand falls). The same is true with cigarettes and alcohol: that a tax hike significantly lowers consumption has [...]

Posted: April 12th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Sound taxation and sin taxes


“It is better to tax bad things than good things,” asserts Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. Pollution, he thus argues, should be taxed more than work. The rationale is simple: anything you tax will be done less. If you tax a bad practice like pollution, less of it will be done—and that would make all of us better off. On the other hand, taxing labor income (which most governments do) induces people to work less, thus produce less—and we all end up worse off, with less of the goods and services we enjoy.

Posted: March 19th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »



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