Philippines 'sin tax' introduced, dampens New Year fun
MANILA (AFP) - A "sin tax" on cigarettes and alcohol dampened the New Year party spirit when it was introduced in the Philippines on Tuesday, as part of a government bid to boost finances.
Many stores started selling tobacco and drink at inflated prices before midnight, ahead of the official implementation of the tax hikes on Jan 1, hitting partygoers in the pocket.
Tax on cigarettes will gradually be raised by 30 pesos (S$0.90) per pack by 2017, roughly doubling the current price to around 52 pesos.
Duty on alcohol will also increase gradually until 2017, increasing the price of a bottle of beer by 23.50 pesos, with varying levels for other drinks including wine and spirits. It will be further increased by four percent each year thereafter.