Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 16) – The House Ways and Means Committee has approved a measure to introduce an excise tax on plastic bags.
The unnumbered replacement invoice provides for an excise duty of ₱ 20 for every kilogram of plastic bags removed from the production site or released from customs.
The measure defines plastic bags as “secondary plastics made from synthetic or semi-synthetic organic polymer”, commonly known as “Labo” or “Sando” bags, which are used in packaging products.
Committee chairman and representative of Albay Joey Salceda said the government could raise an estimated pesetas 4.867 billion a year if the bill becomes law.
Under the bill, taxes from plastic bags will be used to implement waste management plans in local government units.
Sultan Kudarat’s representative Horacio Suansing and his wife, Nueva Ecija representative Estrellita Suansing, said taxing single-use plastic bags would encourage the use of environmentally friendly alternatives.
Citing data from the nonprofit group Ocean Conservancy, the Suansings said the Philippines are among the top countries producing the largest amount of plastic waste in the ocean.
According to Ocean Conservancy, the country produces 2.7 million tons of plastic waste and half a million tons of plastic waste annually.
The Suansings filed House Bill 178, which was consolidated into the unnumbered substitute measure passed by the committee.