(Source: Sunstar | December 4, 2018)
Two bills were filed in the House of Representatives that seeks to impose a P10 excise tax on plastic bag use.
House Bill 8523, authored by Sultan Kudarat 2nd Representative Horacio Suansing Jr., proposes “to impose excise tax on plastic bags used in supermarkets, malls, shops, stores, sales outlets and other similar establishments.”
“By resorting to this levy, it is hoped that Filipinos find environment-friendly alternatives to plastic bags in going about the needs in their daily lives,” Suansing stated in the explanatory note.
While House Bill 8558, authored by Representative John Marvin Nieto, stated that an excise tax of P10 shall be imposed on establishments whose gross receipts in the preceding year reached P100,000 or for newly registered businesses with a capitalization of at least P100,000.
On the other hand, Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) Cebu Chapter President Robert Go said it is an overkill.
“It is not necessary because it is being implemented by the local government unit and it is more effective. The best way is to really educate the consumers about not using plastics because consumers look for that plastic bags,” Go said.
“The government should look for alternatives to plastic bag and bring down the cost of craft paper bags. Give incentives to craft bags manufacturing so it is not too expensive. We also educate the public on the use of recycled bags or eco-friendly bags,” he said.
Go said that it is unfair to penalize big establishments since stores along the streets in the city are also obliged to follow the “no plastic” days.
“Penalizing the big establishment only is unfair because it is more blatant in the street. Every store in Cebu with the schedule of “no plastic” day, they follow the schedule. We cannot always penalize and penalize. There should be equivalent incentive where they encourage use of craft bags or eco-friendly bags or alternatives,” he said.
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