THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), with the support of the Finance department (DoF), is pushing an environmental tax on companies to discourage the use of plastic, with a goal to implement the tax before President Rodrigo R. Duterte ends his term in mid-2022.
“How can we stop people and tell them to stop using plastic if it is not illegal to use plastic? Since that is the situation, we will just come up with an environmental tax proposal to the legislature and have them come up with a law imposing that environmental tax, which should not be that big. It will be minimal,” DENR Undersecretary Benny D. Antiporda told reporters on Thursday, explaining that the envisioned tax will help address the broader problem of solid waste management.
Asked for comment, Department of Finance (DoF) Assistant Secretary Antonio Joselito G. Lambino II said the DoF was consulted in drafting the bill and supports it.
Asked for a timetable for turning the proposal into a law, Mr. Antiporda replied: “Before the end of President Duterte’s term is our target.”
He said the proposal includes exemption for companies based on a point system if they practice environment-friendly measures like operating solar power systems, waste segregation and water recycling. A company earning a certain number of points may be exempted from the tax, Mr. Antiporda said.
“We will start in January by consulting with stakeholders and of course the National Solid Waste Management Commission. I’m positive it will be welcomed because, basically, it is about the environment,” Mr. Antiporda said. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio