H1 ‘sin’ tax take down 25% to P109 billion

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EXCISE-tax collections from “sin” products for the first half of the year dropped by 25.3 percent to P109 billion as it took a hit from the government’s imposition of lockdowns that paralyzed the economy.

Latest preliminary data obtained by the BusinessMirror showed the total “sin” tax collections of the government at P109 billion for the six-month period this year fell short of the P146 billion it collected as of end-June last year, although this was 33.9 percent higher than its adjusted target of P81.4 billion.

This, despite the 21.7-percent rise in the state’s sin tax collection in June to P29.5 billion from P24.2 billion in the same month a year ago due to the easing of community quarantine restrictions, especially in the National Capital Region.

Finance Assistant Secretary Maria Teresa S. Habitan said the alcohol ban during the lockdown also dented the government’s sin tax collection as of end-June.

While Habitan admitted that the government’s decision to place the National Capital Region, as well as other nearby provinces, under stricter modified enhanced community quarantine may negatively impact the government’s sin tax collection, she still expressed optimism that there would be a slight recovery in the second half of the year.

“Hopefully we would see a slight recovery in the second half of the year. I hope there won’t be further liquor bans or prolonged and broad lockdowns,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino, in a message to the BusinessMirror.

Tobacco taxes

For the January-to-June period, excise taxes collected on tobacco products fell by 27.6 percent to P61.5 billion this year from P84.9 billion last year.

However, this was still 41.06 percent above its adjusted target of P43.6 billion.

On the other hand, excise tax take on alcohol products also sank by 26.4 percent to P28.7 billion as of end-June this year from P39.1 billion a year ago but still exceeded the revised target of P21 billion by 36.67 percent.

Excise tax take on sweetened beverages also slid by 14.9 percent to P18.8 billion for the first semester this year from P22.1 billion in 2019, although this breached the government’s P16.8-billion goal by 11.9 percent.

For June alone, the government collected more excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol this year compared to the same month last year.

Finance Undersecretary and Chief Economist Gil S. Beltran also attributed the improvement in the excise tax collection in June to the removal of restrictions on the sale of sin products by many local government units.

With P18.1 billion in excise tax collection on tobacco for the month, the government exceeded by 36.1 percent its take last year of P13.3 billion.

Meanwhile, excise taxes on alcohol gave the government an additional P7.7 billion in revenues in June, 9.9 percent higher than P7 billion it collected last year.

However, the state’s excise tax collection on sweetened beverages in June this year was lower at P3.7 billion, slipping by 6.1 percent from P3.9 billion last year.

To recall, President Duterte signed into law in January this year Republic Act 11467, hiking the excise taxes on alcohol and imposing new duties on heated tobacco and vapor products, in a bid to raise more revenues for the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law.

Image credits: BM file photo

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