The Agriculture Department opposes the imposition of a higher tax on the tobacco industry.
“The DA supports the position of the tobacco farmers,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Monday.
“I will direct the National Tobacco Administration administrator to explain why the agency is taking a position which is not supported by stakeholders,” said Piñol.
Reports earlier said the NTA expressed support to House Bill 4144, which aims to impose higher taxes on cigarettes.
House Bill 4144 authored by Rep. Eugene Micheal de Vera would introduce two new increased tax tiers, one at P32 per pack and the other at P36 per pack.
The house bill also included an annual increase of 5 percent on these rates.
Republic Act No. 10351 also known as the sin tax law earlier restructured the excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, which started in January 2013 with the goal of shifting to unitary taxation by 2017.
The Philippine Tobacco Growers Association earlier said the House-approved bill on cigarette taxes would only bring hardship to local tobacco farmers.
PTGA president Saturnino Distor also denied recent reports that he was supporting the proposed bill.
“We have not changed our position. We strongly oppose House Bill 4144 as this will only bring hardship to the farmers who are still reeling from the huge tax increase in 2013,” Distor said.