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HOUSE PANEL APPROVES P20 TAX ON SINGLE-USE PLASTIC – SUANSING

A proposal seeking to impose an excise tax on single-use plastic bags has hurdled committee level at the House of Representatives.

The House Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, approved the bill imposing a P20 per kilo levy on single-use plastic bags used in supermarkets, malls, shops, stores, sales outlets, and similar establishments.

This veers away from the initial proposal contained in House Bill 178, which proposes an excise tax of P10 per kilo.

The new proposal also seeks to impose a P0.07 per piece of sando plastic bag with minimal impact.

“The bill endeavors to encourage the exploration and utilization of environment-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic bags.”

Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, a principal author, said the bill endeavors to encourage the exploration and utilization of environment-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic bags.

Suansing said the proposal also aims to generate additional revenues for the government which could be used to finance programs and projects to counter the harmful effects of plastic pollution in the country.

“It is a known fact that plastic bags contaminate soil and waterways. Based on available data, 4 to 5 trillion plastic bags are utilized worldwide each year, and billions of these end up as litter,” the veteran legislator said.

“Plastic marine debris has been documented to harm at least 267 species.”

“These are, likewise, toxic to both humans and animals, especially, when accidentally ingested. Plastic marine debris has been documented to harm at least 267 species, among which are sea turtles and dolphins,” the seasoned lawmaker added.

Salceda said 100 percent of the revenues from the excise tax on single-use plastic bags shall be earmarked for solid waste management and implementation of the Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

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