Senator Francis Pangilinan is urging the Senate to start deliberations on proposals seeking to impose an excise tax on single-use plastic bags.

Pangilinan made the call after the House of Representatives committee on ways and means approved House Bill 178 which seeks to impose a P20 excise tax per kilogram of single-use plastic bags.

“Malacañang itself is studying ban on single-use plastics.”

“Malacañang na mismo ang nagsabi na pinag-aaralan na nila ang pagbabawal sa single-use plastics, kung kaya’t kailangan na talagang simulang dinggin ito sa Senado (Malacañang itself is studying ban on single-use plastics, so it’s imperative that the Senate start the hearings),” the veteran legislator said.

The seasoned lawmaker added that passing measures that will tax or ban single-use plastics is also a “step in the right direction’ in helping mitigate the effects of climate change.

The senator pointed out that one only has to look at the aftermath of Typhoon Tisoy, which left an estimated P3.7 billion in damage, to see how serious the effects of climate change can be.

“Kaya dapat ay bilisan natin ang pagpasa ng mga batas na makakatulong mabawasan ang epekto nito. Isa na rito ang pagpataw ng buwis sa mga single-use plastic at ang pagbabawal sa paggamit nito (So we should hasten the passage of bills that would mitigate its effects. Among them is imposing taxes on single-use plastics and banning its use),” he said.

“Revenues to be generated could be used to lessen the risks and effects of climate change.”

Pangilinan also said revenues to be generated could be used to fund programs that could lessen the risks and effects of climate change.

“Maaring magamit ang revenues na ito sa pagpapaigting ng Disaster Management and Risk Reduction initiatives sa ating bansa, o kaya naman ay pagpondo sa mga pag-aaral kung paano natin mapapabawas ang epekto ng climate change (The revenues could be used to boost Disaster Management and Risk Reduction initiatives in the country, or fund studies on how to mitigate the effects of climate change.),” he said.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the committee on ways and means, said the proposed House bill could generate P4.8 billion in government revenues within just a year of implementation.

At the Senate, Pangilinan has filed Senate Bill 40 which proposes a ban on the manufacture, importation, and use of all single-use plastics, particularly disposable plastics commonly used for plastic packaging and food items such as grocery bags, food packaging, films and bags, manufacturing water bottles, straws, stirrers, containers, styrofoam/styros, cups, sachets, and plastic cutlery.

Under the measure, recycling single-use plastics will also be incentivized.

Senate Bill 40, which was filed in July this year, is currently pending with the Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Climate Change. 


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