Interpellation of SB 2233 (Increasing the Excise Tax on Tobacco Products)

In his interpellation on the Senate bill seeking to increase the excise tax on tobacco products, Sen. Lacson stressed the need to plug leakages in tax collection to raise enough revenues. “We keep raising taxes. We keep passing new revenue measures. But we don’t look at some other potential sources of revenues which is I think ito ang mas malaki. Nami-miss natin.”

Quotes from the interpellation…

“Preliminarily, let me manifest my wholehearted support to the passage of this measure under consideration, not only because I don’t smoke nor drink, but I realize this piece of legislation is more of a health measure than a revenue legislation. I am therefore committed to cast my affirmative vote at the proper time if only to pay tribute to our distinguished colleague Sen. JV Ejercito and his legacy legislation, the Universal Health Care Act.”

“Ang unang naisip natin the only if not the primary solution to increase revenue is to raise new ir even old taxes, when in fact when we go by the observation on a day to day basis, baka we don’t even need to deliberate on new tax measures.”

“It doesn’t take a bright rocket scientist to think about ways to more efficiently collect taxes. And I’ve suggested this. Why don’t we resort to cross-referencing? If we can only have a good interconnection for cross-referencing between and among agencies like LRA, LTO, SEC, BIR. Madaling hanapin kanino nakapangalan ang maraming sasakyan? Kanino nakatitulo ang maraming lupa? Kanino nakarehistro o sino ang members ng board ng corporation? And try to assess or cross-refer it to the individual tax payment being remitted by these individuals.”