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Philippines raises tobacco, alcohol taxes

Published on Dec 20, 2012 2:36 PM
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Cigaratte vendor Alex Santiago waits for customers on a street in Manila on Nov 21, 2012. The Philippines on Thursday raised tobacco and alcohol taxes in a reform President Benigno Aquino hailed as helping to liberate "more Filipinos from the vices of smoking and drinking". -- PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines on Thursday raised tobacco and alcohol taxes in a reform President Benigno Aquino hailed as helping to liberate "more Filipinos from the vices of smoking and drinking".

Mr Aquino, a smoker himself, said the "sin tax" law was a victory against the powerful tobacco lobby and would provide extra funds for better health care and facilities.

"The enemy was strong, noisy, organised and had deep pockets... but as I have always said, there is nothing that can stop Filipinos who are marching in the right direction," the president said in a speech at the signing ceremony.

Aquino spokesman Ramon Carandang said the sin taxes would raise 33 billion pesos (S$980 million) in 2013, rising gradually over the succeeding years.

 
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