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BIR, BOC: Critics’ smuggling rebuttals over sin tax reforms dogged by biases

Press Release – Action for Economic Reforms— 6 June 2012 AS CONGRESSIONAL DEBATES on the Abaya sin tax reforms finally conclude, the Philippines’ top tax and customs officials once more addressed fears from tobacco-aligned solons that the enactment of HB 5727 would unleash runaway rates of cigarette smuggling. Referencing respected reports and data sources, BIR […]

Advocates to House: Walk the talk, too! Senate casts unanimous endorsement of FOI, transparency as norm

WITHIN DAYS after casting a guilty verdict on former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, 22 of the 23 senators affirmed support for the passage of the Freedom of Information Act and endorsed the committee report of Sen. Gregorio B. Honasan II, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Information.

Twenty-two senators signed on to Honasan’s report that consolidates several FOI bills at the Senate, firm evidence of the Senate’s commitment to instituionalize transparency and access to information as the norm, practice, and obligation of all public officials and employees. Honasan formally sponsored the FOI bill at the Senate plenary session today, June 4, 2012.

The Senate’s decision to give the FOI Act a fighting chance is in stark contrast, however, to the extended inaction on the FOI bills at the committee level at the House of Representatives.

10,000-strong farmers’ group urges sin tax hike, decries tobacco monopoly

Press Release – Action for Economic Reforms – 31 May 2012 MEMBERS OF the Northern Luzon Alliance who have been flogging the Abaya sin tax bill for flouting the interests of tobacco growers may be in need of a reality-check. According to a body of over 10,000 farmers from the Ilocos region, a failure to […]

Smuggling gripes against Abaya sin tax bill full of fallacies— Customs, BIR

Press Release— Action for Economic Reforms— 29 May 2012 CLAMOUR FROM the tobacco lobby that the Abaya excise tax bill would spur a smuggling frenzy has only cast smokescreens, instead of meaningful debate, around the sin tax reform issue. Supporters of HB 5727, government agency chiefs said today, can rest easy that the bill’s approval […]

Cancer Stakeholders Move as One for HB 5727

Press Release— Action for Economic Reforms— May 28, 2012 Cancer advocates and sectoral figures are pressing lawmakers to pass HB 5727 to protect the health of millions of Filipinos from a global smoking epidemic. During the Cancer Stakeholders Consultative Meeting last May 25, Moving as One— a consortium of health advocates and medical organizations— outlined […]

Side with the sectors on the sin taxes, not the tobacco lobby, urge civil society groups

Press Release – Action for Economic Reforms— May 22, 2012 CIVIL SOCIETY advocates today thumbed down entreaties by PMFTC and the Philippine Tobacco Institute (PTI) for lawmakers to allow further concessions on the Abaya sin tax bill. Against the rhetoric of tobacco industry players, the advocates claimed, the interests of the sectors stand resoundingly for […]