Baldoz: Sin tax to impact industry workers-A A +A
Saturday, January 12, 2013
MANILA -- Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz had admitted that the passage of the sin tax law will definitely result to displacement of workers from the tobacco industry.
In an interview, the labor chief made the admission citing a study undertaken by the Dole – Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) prior to the signing of the new law.
“The new Sin Tax law will definitely have an impact,” said Baldoz. “There will definitely be job losses as a result of the new law.”
However, the official immediately stressed that the impact will just be minimal at best.
“It will be very minimal in terms of employment,” she noted.
Baldoz added that the ILS also projects that any negative impact of the sin tax law would be occuring gradually.
“It will occur gradually so there would still be time to implement responses, particularly in tobacco-producing regions,” said Baldoz.
Last December, President Benigno Aquino III signed the Republic Act 10351, which results to an increase in the excise tax rate on all brands of cigarettes and alcoholic drinks.
The tobacco farmers and industry workers have been staunchly opposing the measure’s passage saying it would result to massive job displacement.
But according to Dole’s study, employment in the tobacco industry has already been on a downswing since 2004.
It noted how from 169,906 in 1999, the total employment in the tobacco industry had dropped to 135,672 as of year 2005.
Nonetheless, Baldoz said the Dole is ready to provide protection to those who will be affected by the law.
“We are ready to protect the affected workers by providing them alternative employment,” assured Baldoz.
She also disclosed that she is meeting with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to discuss possible alternative employment for those to be adversely affected.
Baldoz also noted that RA 10351 provides the allocation of certain percentage of the income from the tobacco taxes to the implementation of safety nets for affected workers. (HDT/Sunnex)