House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Eric Singson called on Congress to amend the law regulating excise duty on tobacco and alcohol, saying it threatens the livelihoods of domestic growers, the Manila Bulletin said.
Singson, who represents a tobacco-growing region, said a two-tier tax system must be maintained to protect farmers, many of whom rely on tobacco as a sole crop. This year a unitary tax system is to replace the old one under provisions of what popularly is known as the Sin Tax Reform Law of 2012.
A unitary system favours products imported by international tobacco companies, Singson reportedly said. Keeping two tiers would allow a lesser tax on lower priced products containing domestic tobacco. The House late last year passed an amendment to retain the two-tier system that now requires Senate approval, according to accounts.