Enrile pushes Santiago’s version on Sin Tax bill
SENATE President Juan Ponce Enrile on Monday said he will select the Sin Tax version of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago as a starting point of plenary debates when Congress resumes session on November 5.
In an interview, Enrile said that plenary debates on Sin Tax bill should start on the highest amount proposed in Congress, and then scaled it down in the period of amendments until both fences are satisfied with the measure.
“I will select the Santiago version because it is the closest to the version proposed by the DOF. So we should start with the bill that gives the highest yield to the government, and it’s up to the members of the Senate to scale it down to a level they think reasonable and effective enough to give revenue to the government but reasonable enough not to destroy the industry,’ Enrile explained.
Enrile also said that the tax burden on sin products should be proportionately distributed on taxable items weighing who is the consumer on particular goods.
“The tax burden, as proposed by Santiago, must be evenly and proportionally distributed among the various products that will bear it,” he said.
“You have to be equitable on the side of cigarettes with different qualities and consumers just like in distilled spirits and fermented liquor,” Enrile said.
“And then generically on both sides, you also have to be equitable in the distribution of the tax burden,” he added.
No delays, no blocking
Enrile also allay fears from some quarters that some members of the Upper House are delaying or blocking the passage of the sin tax bill, but will hear each arguments.
“There’s no effort on the part of anybody here to block this measure. We never block any tax measure here,”” he said.
He added that he will personally see to it to pass the measure hand in hand with the deliberation of the national budget in November.
“I am committed to pass this measure hand in hand with the budget. But i cannot speak for the other senators. Meron mga iba-ibang paningin ng mga senador dito eh. Wala naman unanimity,” he said.