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PHILIPPINES: Industry bids to stop alcohol tax hike - report

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A legal challenge has been launched by the drinks industry against an alcohol tax hike in the Philippines, according to local reports.

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The Distilled Spirits Association of the Philippines (DSAP) lodged a 30-page petition with a regional trial court in Manila earlier this week, opposing the move, the Philippine Star reported today (10 January). It comes after the country’s President, Benigno Aquino III, signed the 'Sin Tax' reform bill into law last month.

Under the new system, beer will be taxed at PHP15 (US$0.37) per litre if the net retail price is P50.60 or less per litre, and PHP20 per litre for more expensive products. Wine and spirits will face similar hikes. 

The DSAP has argued that the move is “unconstitutional and tantamount to double taxation”, it was reported. The trade body has warned that the tax rise will damage the domestic industry as its members would lose market share to imported products. 

The new sin tax law, which came into effect on 1 January, is expected to raise an extra PHP40bn (US$973m) in government revenue. 

A government official described the law as a “health measure”, while President Aquino was quoted as saying that the money raised will give Filipinos “better access” to health services.


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