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Cigarette smuggling, fake tobacco killing farmers ­– Imee Marcos

Jose Rodel Clapano - The Philippine Star
Cigarette smuggling, fake tobacco killing farmers ­â Imee Marcos
She also asked the government to carefully study the impact of any massive cigarette excise tax increase on poor people like farmers and sari-sari store owners.
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MANILA, Philippines — The government should crack down on cigarette smugglers and manufacturers of counterfeit tobacco products, which are killing the country’s two million tobacco farmers, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos said Friday.

She also asked the government to carefully study the impact of any massive cigarette excise tax increase on poor people like farmers and sari-sari store owners.

“Fake cigarettes seized in 2018 hit a record-high of P20.250 billion, depriving the government of much-needed revenues,” said Marcos, who is running for senator.

Cigarette sales have decreased as prices have more than tripled since 2013, and this, according to the National Tobacco Administration, has translated into a drop in farm output by as much as 20 million kilos annually.

Marcos said if the next sin tax increase pushes through, the government should help tobacco farmers and small retailers like sari-sari store owners cope with their potential revenue loss.

“The expected higher revenue from sin tax collection must be used to bankroll alternative agriculture-related livelihood for affected tobacco farmers,” she added.

Under Republic Act 7171, tobacco-producing provinces like Ilocos Norte with an annual average production of not less than one million kilos of Virginia tobacco are entitled to 15 percent of the excise tax collections from locally manufactured cigarettes.        

CIGARETTE EXCISE TAX INCREASE IMEE MARCOS SMUGGLING TOBACCO PRODUCTS
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