Inconsistencies In Law Wreak Havoc On Cigarette Brands

MANILA, Philippines -- The local cigarette industry might go up in smoke if the government does not act fast.

The government may be deluding itself over by favoring an excise tax law which creates an uneven playing field in the local cigarette industry.

Revenue Regulation 22-2003, also known as the cigarette tax, seems to favor local brands over foreign brands.

Case in point is how Fortune International FK, which the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has classified as an old brand, is being taxed at P1.12 per pack despite the net retail price exceeding P5, the cut-off for the lower-taxed category. If its net retail price, P6.82, is to be considered, tax paid should be P8.96 per pack. Likewise, La Suerte