MANILA – Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III is firm against lifting the ban on alcoholic and tobacco products during the enhanced community quarantine despite the drop in tax revenues from these products.
“Sin taxes are imposed to discourage the consumption of products that are detrimental to health. We do not wish to exacerbate the current health crisis,” he told journalists in a Viber message Monday.
The Department of Finance (DOF) said excise tax collections from sin products fell year-on-year from January to April 15, 2020. 
Specifically, excise tax collections from tobacco declined by 42.5 percent to PHP33.19 billion from year-ago’s PHP57.75 billion.
Revenues from alcoholic products dropped 26 percent year-on-year to PHP17.85 billion from PHP24.09 billion during the same period last year.
Dominguez said cigarette manufacturers are currently not allowed to bring out products from their factories for distribution in the domestic market, but manufacturing is allowed for exports.
The DOF chief earlier said he favors the resumption of domestic tobacco production as soon as allowed to address smuggling or illegal production.
But he said since a ban is still in place, the “BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) is vigilant against illicit trade.”  (PNA)