TWO House bills seeking to impose an excise tax on the use of plastic bags were filed at the House of Representatives.
House Bills 8523 and 8558, written by Sultan Kudarata 2nd district Rep. Horacio P. Suansing, Jr. and Manila 3rd district Rep. John Marvin C. Nieto, both proposed to levy P10 on plastic bags used in any supermarket, mall, and other establishment.
Mr. Suansing said the tax is intended to discourage the use of plastic bags and help the government develop programs to address plastic pollution.
“By resorting to this levy, it is hoped that Filipinos find environment-friendly alternatives to plastic bags in going about the needs of their daily lives,” he said in the explanatory note.
The bill also proposes ”to raise additional revenues for the government which could be used to finance programs and projects to counter the deleterious effects of plastic bags and their use,” he added.
The proposed “Plastic Bag Tax Act” will be applied at the point of sale of and may be collected by establishments with gross receipts of at least P100,000 in the preceding year or new businesses with a capitalization of at least P100,000.
The bill, however, provides that the tax will not be collected on plastics used as “original packaging,” including packaged fish, meat, poultry, fruit, vegetables, nuts, confectionery, dairy products, cooked food and ice.
Sellers will be required to keep an inventory of its plastic bags, to be shall be retained for five years subject to review by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. — Charmaine A. Tadalan