Lawmakers propose 20% excise tax on firecrackers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 25) — Two lawmakers proposed to impose a 20% excise tax on firecrackers instead of banning them.

Ako Bicol Party-list Reps. Alfredo Garbin, Jr. and Elizaldy Co filed House Bill 1517 which aims to amend the Presidential Decree No. 1994, wherein a tax of P30 per kilogram of fireworks is imposed.

“Banning firecrackers is not the proper approach because that would only create a black market for these products. It is much better that they be sold out in the open but under strict regulations and taxes,” said Garbin in a statement.

Under the proposed measure, a 20% tax shall be levied on fireworks and firecrackers based on the manufacturer’s selling price, net of excise tax, and value added tax on such devices.

"Remember that public funds are spent whenever people are treated at government hospitals for firecracker injuries. The government should have some way to properly recover that cost and to conduct public campaigns on responsible use of firecrackers and fireworks,” added Garbin.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been aiming for a total ban on the use of firecrackers since 2016. He signed Executive Order 28 in 2017 which limits the use of firecrackers in the country.

READ: Duterte to order total ban on firecrackers

So far, two firecracker related injuries were recorded by the Department of Health last December 22.

READ: 2 hurt by fireworks as DOH begins annual tally