Philippine President Calls for Strengthened Efforts Against Tobacco Smuggling

Regulations by 2FIRSTS.ai
May.09
Philippine President Calls for Strengthened Efforts Against Tobacco Smuggling
Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos convened the 6th PSAC-ASG meeting on agriculture, instructing increased efforts against tobacco and e-cigarette smuggling.

According to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) report on May 8, Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos convened the sixth Private Sector Advisory Council-Agriculture Sector Group (PSAC-ASG) meeting on May 8. During the meeting, the President instructed relevant government agencies and law enforcement departments to intensify efforts to combat the smuggling of tobacco and e-cigarette products.

 

President Marcos urged the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to intensify efforts to combat the smuggling of tobacco and e-cigarette products during the meeting. He called for law enforcement agencies to strengthen the enforcement of measures to prevent smuggling.

 

"Regarding law enforcement and anti-smuggling efforts, it is imperative for all of you to collaborate," the president stated. He also pledged to further increase efforts towards the Customs Bureau and the Internal Revenue Bureau in order to improve the effectiveness of combating smuggling.

 

President's economic and economic affairs special assistant Frederick Go responded by saying that the Consumer Protection Group has pledged to send more personnel to help monitor the e-cigarette industry. Meanwhile, Bureau of Internal Revenue Chief Romeo Lumagui Jr. stated that they have been cracking down on smuggled e-cigarette products and are prepared to implement a tax stamp system to completely eradicate illegal e-cigarette products from the market.

 

During the meeting, some recommendations and policy demands were also raised to ensure the protection of the tobacco industry. This includes implementing the Sustainable Tobacco Enhancement Plan (STEP) of the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) in accordance with Republic Act (RA) 4155 of the Philippines, to help combat smuggling activities. The committee also sought to include tobacco products in the amendments to the 2016 Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Law, and to promote a minimum retail price (MRP) for smuggled products and a penalty plan for distributing illegal goods.

 

The organization also called on the Internal Revenue Bureau to begin implementing new tax requirements for tobacco and e-cigarette products, and requested that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) set a deadline for registration for importers and e-cigarette product manufacturers. At the same time, the agency emphasized the importance of continuing to enforce the law against smugglers and retailers. Monthly operational reports involving these products should be submitted to the Office of the President. The Philippine tobacco industry provides a livelihood for 2.2 million Filipinos, and tobacco excise taxes make up 4% of the government's total revenue, reaching 135 billion pesos in 2023. The government will keep 50% of the excise tax for implementing universal healthcare and funding the construction and improvement of health facilities.

 

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