10% pollutant tax eyed for cigarette sellers

THE Davao City Anti-Smoking Task Force (ASTF) is now planning for another breakthrough in its campaign against cigarette smoking in the country by adding 10 percent pollutant tax to all cigarette sellers in the city.

Vice Regulation Unit (VRU) head Voltaire Engracia, in an interview with SunStar Davao, said he has already submitted a request to the city mayor's office regarding the 10 percent pollutant tax on every 2,000 square meters of cigarette boxes of selling establishments in the city.

"Cigarette producers are already paying sin tax in the national level. But in cities and provinces, cigarette producers are selling their products to cigarette sellers so they are still receiving much income even when they are paying sin tax," he said.

The 10 percent pollutant tax, Engracia said, will be paid by the establishment owners annually. In addition, it will influence sellers to minimize cigarette selling.

He said this new law is in response of the mandate of the City Government to make the Davao City officially smoke-free.

"Although we continue our anti-smoking apprehensions everyday to all irresponsible cigarette users, we cannot just apprehend forever. We need to set a plan that will immediately create our city smoke-free," Enrgracia said.

He added that VRU expects apprehensions from the business sector and said that they will continue to perform according to the mandate of the campaign endorsed by the City Government.

Engracia said the VRU is still waiting for the executive order regarding the matter and will immediately implement the law once released.
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