PIA News Service - Thursday, July 9, 2009

DOF eyes incremental revenue with proposed sin tax reform

The Department of Finance (DOF) is pushing for the passage at both houses of Congress of the reformed excise tax on alcohol and tobacco products to correct the weaknesses of the Republic Act 9334, while expecting a projected revenue increment of up to P19 billion on the first year of its implementation alone which is proposed to be put in place in 2012.

At the lower house, the DOF-proposed reform on alcohol and tobacco products excise tax, which is being sponsored by Representatives George Arnaiz, Pryde Henry Teves, and Jocelyn Limkaichong, already underwent committee hearings but remains pending at the House Committee on Ways and Means. On the other hand, Senator Panfilo Lacson, who is the chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, is sponsoring the DOF proposal under Senate Bill No. 2980 which is still subject for committee hearing.

DOF explains that the multi-tiered RA 9334 needs to be restructured to align tax rates with that of neighboring countries as the Philippines has the lowest excise tax rates among Asian countries; to compensate for foregone revenues resulting from the implementation of certain laws (e.g., lower corporate income tax, high personal exemption, tax incentives under the PERA law and the National Tourism policy Act); and to improve the over-all credit rating of the country which comes along with improved revenue position.

As among its weaknesses, DOF points out that RA 9334 is prone to downshifting/ misreporting of consumption from high-priced and high-taxed brands t low-riced and low-taxed brands resulting in lower revenues. The current excise tax structure also needs to classify brands which create discretion for the taxing authority. The law is likewise eroded by inflation due to lack of automatic tax rate adjustment.

With the DOF-proposed excise tax restructuring, the agency is proposing the adoption of a unitary tax rate for each category of alcohol and tobacco products. For cigarettes and distilled spirits, the unitary rate will be phased-in a period of three years, respectively, while for beer, it will be immediate. The phasing period will commence in 2012.

Under the proposal, a unitary rate will be indexed using a relevant price index for tobacco and alcohol.

With the revenues from the excise tax, after the reform have been put into effect, the proposal seeks to allocate a portion of it to a trust fund for the transitional guaranteed income of farmers who are shifting to other crops.

In response to queries why the government is seeking to increase the excise tax when there is so much smuggling and tax leakage in the current system, the DOF reasoned that the government is mindful of the smuggling and tax leakage in the country. In fact, it has already put in place several programs to address these. But as characteristic of administrative measures, it will take a little more time to bear fruit. DOF says, the country needs to raise revenues now to strengthen its fiscal position amidst continuing pressure from the global recession.

With the threat of economic recession in the country, the DOF explains that the government has to have more revenues to pump-prime the economy. This, as it has been determined that public spending has grater impact on growth than tax cuts, with greater public spending creating more employment.

The DOF is also allaying fears of some legislators that tobacco farmers will be displaced due to lower demand as a result of the tax reform, saying, a system will be designed with tobacco farmers that would provide them with guaranteed income from incremental revenues from the reform, so they can be assisted during the transition period as they shift to planting other crops. (PIA)


NPA complex destroyed ending long covert operations

Seven big camps of the New People’s Army were discovered in the hinterlands of Esperanza by the military during their intensified operations lately.

In a report rendered by Col. Andres Centino of the 26th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army during the Provincial Peace and Order meeting recently, these camps were located in Barangays Bunaguit, Balobo, Agsabo, Massisn, Kasiklan and Kinamaybay areas, all in Esperanza town.

“These camps, as you can see in the map, are very near each other. While we were operating and chasing the enemy, we overrun the first camp and discovered some subversive documents, ammunitions, and personal paraphernalia of the rebels. The first camp we discovered can accommodate around 50 persons. But as our operations continue and as we follow the traces of the enemy, we discovered that the area of around 20 kilometers radius are hiding not only an ordinary camp, but a complex of seven camps maybe used by the rebels when they conduct regional and even Mindanao-wide meetings and conferences,” Col. Andres Centino said.

According to Col. Emeliano Gupana, Commanding Officer of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, they even saw some ready to cook food when they overrun the camps because of the traces that the rebels are getting ready to prepare their food but were aborted when they learn that the military forces are advancing in their location.

“Some of the camps that we discovered can accommodate 150 persons, some 75, some 80 and the least that a camp can accommodate is 50 persons. We therefore believe that the camps in area inside that six barangays in Esperanza, are not just mere training camps, or meeting camps, but they are what we call complex where the rebels spend their rest and recreation, their big meetings, and a haven for meeting other rebels from other places,” Col. Gupana said.

Belying the reports by a radio station from Butuan City saying the residents were harassed by the military, Col. Centino said the residents are even grateful because of the military operations. In fact, many residents said, they have suffered long from the extortion done by the rebels, and are very thankful that the camps were destroyed displacing the rebels in the area, and ending their covert operations for a long time.

“The residents are at peace now. When we entered the area, we told them that the existence of the military in the area means peace and harmony that will lead to development because the army are government troops sent by the government to protect the people from bad elements,” Miss Lipanhug, a representative of Father Carlito Clase said.

During the PPOC meeting, 21 former rebels or Kauban sa Reforma (KRs) were also awarded with P20,000 as immediate assistance from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process. These KRs are part of more than 450 former rebels who were awarded immediate and livelihood assistance in Agusan del Sur since March this year. (Dave M. Suyao - PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Cebuano News: Surigao del Sur Kasamtangan nagsaulog sa Nutrition Month Celebration

Padayon ang pipila ka mga kalihukan sa probinsiya alang sa kasamtangan pagsaulog sa Nutrition Month niining Hulyo. 

Sa padayon nga pagsaulog sa mga impormasyon bahin sa hustong Nutrisyon, padayon usab ang Provincial Health Office (PHO) sa pagpasabot unsa ang mga posibleng mahitabo sa tawo nga adunay kakulangan sa sustansiya kon nutrisyon sa lawas. 

Sa pakighinabi sa Radyo ng Bayan kang Mrs. Marilou Panilan, Nutritionist-Dietitian sa naasoy nga buhatan, sa kadaghan sa mga sakit karon nga adunay kalabutan sa pamatasan ug klase sa pagpuyo sa tawo, hingpit pa nga gitutukan ang kampanya sa Healthy Lifestyle. 

Gikumpirma ni Mrs. Panilan ang unang taho nga apil sa mga nag-unang hinungdan sa katayon dinhi sa probinsiya ang mga Lifestyle-Related Diseases sama sa Cancer, Diabetes, sakit sa kasingkasing ug Alta-presyon

Samtang, gisugdan ang pagpahigayon ug backyard gardening contest sa nagkada-iyang kalungsuran kalabot sa selebrasyon sa Nutrisyon Month karon.

Ang pagpahigayon ug mga susamang pakontest usa matud pa sa Provincial Nutrition Office usa ka paagi nga ma-aghat ang mga tawo nga mananom ug mokaon ug gulay. 

Gawas sa maong pa-kontest, padayon usab ang paghimo ug mga mass feeding alang sa mga Kabataan nga anaa sa Below Normal-Low ug Very low. (Nerissa Espinosa, Radyo ng Bayan Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Cebuano News: Blood Galloners hatagan ug pasidungog atol sa National Blood Month – PNRC-SDS

Gisaulog karong bulan sa Hulyo ang National Blood Month sa Red Cross- Surigao del Sur Chapter.

Sa taho ni Mr. Abel de Guzman, Chapter Administrator sa Red Cross kabahin sa ilang mga aktibidades mao ang padayon nga mass blood donation sa mga kalungsuran nga intresado sa programa ug ang paghatag pasidungog sa mga gitawag nga Blood galloners kon mga tawo nga nakadonar na sa maka-siyam ka beses sa Red Cross. 

Nahibaloan nga adunay14 nga Blood Galloners gikan sa tuig 2006 hangtod karon.

Gipamahayag ni Mr. Abel de Guzman sa Red Cross dinhi nga gawas sa mga blood donors nila nga mahatagan ug pasidungog usab ang mga Local Government Units (LGUs) nga pasidunggan usab.

Kini base sa pila usab ka beses nakapahigayon ug mass blood donation kon bloodiest, bloodier ug blood.

Matud pa niya nga usa kini ka paagi nga maaghat kadtong ubang lungsod nga dili magmakuli sa pagsuporta sa blood program sa Red Cross. (Nerissa Espinosa, Radyo ng Bayan Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Cebuano News: Opisyales sa Surigao Sur nangandam pagsulbad sa problema sa Climate Change

Sa padayon nga pagdako sa Climate Change ug Global Warming, usa ka pagtuon ang gihimo sa Environmentalist sa Humay epekto sa Climate Change.

Sa pagpakighinabi sa Radyo ng Bayan kang Mr. Marcos Quico, Provincial Agriculturist, gipamahayag niya nga adunay kamatuoran ang maong taho ug adunay mga inisyal nga panaghisgut niini tali sa kanila nga mga Provincial Agriculturists ug sa Department of Agriculture.

Gani mismong mga rice specialists ang nagpasabot nga dako ang mahimong epekto niining pagbag-o sa panahon diha sa mga pananom ug angayang pangandaman pinaagi sa pagpanday ug mga lakang sa pagtubag sa problema sa Climate Change.

Samtang gitaho sa provincial Agriculturist Mark Quico nga tungod sa padayon nga kampanya karon sa kagamhanan nga matubag ang problema sa Climate Change, adunay sumala pa ordinansa niini ang Sangguniang panlalawigan ingon man executive order si Governor Vicente Pimentel ngadto sa tanang mga mayors nga mogamit na ug Organic Technology ang ilang mga mag-uuma ug ang mga ipatuman nga lakang nga malikayan ang polusyon sa palibot. Sama as pagdili nga sunugon ang mga ohot sa kahuimayan.

Kabahin kini sa mga pamaagi nga makatabang sa pagsulbad niining problema sa climate Change.

Ang pagtaas matud pa sa Temperatura makakunhod ug 10% sa produksyon sa Humay ug mas dako ang epekto niini sa mga nasod nga nag-unang produkto sa agrikultura ang humay sama sa Pilipinas. (Nerissa Espinosa, Radyo ng Bayan Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)