Palace more confident of sin tax passage than RH Bill

Posted at 09/16/12 2:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacanang said it is hopeful about the passage of the sin tax bill despite the few sessions left before Congress takes a recess anew.

“We are hoping for the passage of the sin tax bill because it is already in the Senate,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

The same could not be said, however, with the more controversial reproductive health measure. In fact, Valte said: “We pretty much left it to Congress. It depends on how the House of Representatives will move on that.”

The lower House version of the sin tax bill was already passed three months ago with more than 200 congressmen gave their support to the measure restructuring the excise taxes for tobacco and alcohol.

The Senate version, however, is still facing hitches. Some of the backers blame the strong lobbying from the tobacco and alcohol industry.

On the issue that President Benigno Aquino III gave his support to the measure despite being a heavy smoker, Valte only said: “Those are two different things. It’s (smoking) his personal choice.”