House OKs P100 excise tax on single-use plastic bags

The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading an excise tax on single-use plastic bags.

Under House Bill 4102, a P100 tax would be imposed on every kilo of single-use plastic bags removed from the place of production or released from the Bureau of Customs.

Also known as the Single Use Plastic Bags Tax Act, the bill also earmarks proceeds to help finance the projects under Republic Act No. 9003 or the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000”.

The tax rate will be raised by 4 percent every year effective January 1, 2026, through revenue regulations issued by the Secretary of Finance.

While the bill passed with a vote of 255-3-0, opponents of the measure said the tax should be paid by big companies instead of small retailers.

although the bill addresses environmental concerns, the additional tax would be an additional burden to the public.

“While we want to regulate the use of plastic bags for environmental concerns such as reducing pollution, this proposed measure will just be an additional burden to consumers, sellers, and retailers,” said Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas.

Brosas also believes that in order to solve environmental problems concerning the use of single-use plastic bags, there should be an accessible and affordable alternative for consumers while imposing stringent regulations for big companies.

Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel echoed Brosas’ sentiment, emphasizing the proposed new tax’s effect on small businesses and consumers.

“We believe that protecting the environment and promoting a pro-people economy can go hand-in-hand,” Manuel said.

The bill will be sent to the Senate for action.

The administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is eyeing several new taxes to help pay for the country’s ballooning debt which already hit a record P13.52 trillion in September.

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