Gov’t presses Congress on ‘sin tax’ bill

MANILA, Philippines – After the proposed tax on text messaging met stiff competition in the Senate, the Department of Finance said it was hoping legislators would instead pass the pending bill slapping a higher tax on cigarettes and alcohol, stressing the dire need to address the government’s falling revenue collection.

The old proposal to slap a tax on text messaging was recently revived by the House of Representatives. The suggested tax rate was 5 centavos for every text message sent. The Senate, however, seems un likely to adopt the Lower House’s proposal with a number of senators criticizing it as antipoor.

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said the idea to revive the proposed tax on text did not come from the DOF, but it would welcome any revenue-generating measure that would be passed into law.

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