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THE PHILIPPINES

Tax stamp raise rejected by PTI

30 Mar 2021. The Philippine Tobacco Institute (PTI) has rejected APO’s plan to increase the cost of cigarette tax stamps by PHP 0.08, reports the Manila Bulletin.

The printing firm APO Production Unit Inc. (APO) is a state-run agency that holds a mandate to print government security sensitive documents such as the cigarette tax stamps. The agency planned to hike the cost of stamps from PHP 0.15 to 0.23, a move the PTI called “unconscionable and excessive.”

The PTI, the association of local cigarette manufacturers, exporters and leaf suppliers in the tobacco industry, estimated that the price hike would also lead to an increase in APO’s profit by up to 102 per cent. According to the Manila Bulletin, it also said that the APO’s job is to produce tax stamps for regulatory purposes rather than to raise revenues.

“We believe that the eight centavos printing cost increase from the current 15 centavos per internal revenue stamp to the proposed 23 centavos is unconscionable and excessive,” read a PTI statement.

“We wish to emphasize that the intent for the internal revenue stamp is to ensure the collection of excise taxes,” the association of local cigarette manufacturers, exporters and leaf suppliers in the tobacco industry added.

PTI did agree to a two-centavo increase per stamp, the same as the increase two years ago, which would still result in a small net profit for APO.