Recto: Don't fear me in sin tax bicam

Posted at 11/28/2012 6:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Ralph Recto on Wednesday said people urging him not to participate in bicameral conference discussions on the sin tax reform bill have no reason to fear.
 
He told reporters that if he is chosen to join the bicameral conference committee, his concern would be the earmarking of funds for the government's health programs from sin tax revenues.
 
Besides, Recto said he is not applying to be part of the bicameral conference, which is a meeting among senators and congressmen to reconcile the Senate's and House's respective versions of the bill.
 
"Nagtataka lang ako kung bakit sila natatakot," said Recto, who was criticized for his allegedly watered-down version of the sin tax bill.
 
Amid the criticisms, Recto resigned as chair of the ways and means committee and was replaced by Sen. Franklin Drilon.
 
The Senate approved Drilon's version of the sin tax measure, where tax revenues are projected to reach P40 billion.
 
Sin tax advocates have called on Recto and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. not to join the bicameral conference meetings on the bill because of their stand against higher sin taxes.
 
Recto said, however, that his decision to join the bicameral conference committee on the sin tax bill will depend on the Senate’s orders.
 
“I will always do my job as the Senate requests me to do,” he said.