A party-list lawmaker has proposed a 10 to 30 percent excise tax on cosmetic products and beauty services, saying it is a better alternative to imposing additional excise tax on fuel products.
According to a report on "24 Oras" by GMA News' Bernadette Reyes on Tuesday, the "vanity tax" measure was proposed by Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, who believes such move is pro-poor.
Aside from cosmetic products like lipstick and makeup, additional taxes will also be imposed on services like whitening treatment, liposuction, noselift and facelift, among others.
"Ang lipstick P300, dagdagan mo ng P30. Siguro naman ang isang taong nagli-lipstick ay di naman magiging pabigat ang P30 sa kaniya, para sa isang lipstick. O ang makeup, dagdagan mo ng 10 porsiyento, di rin pabigat. Kung talagang mabigat na 'wag ka na mag-makeup, mabubuhay ka naman," Batocabe said.
The lawmaker argued that vanity tax is better than the proposed hike in excise tax on petroleum products which he said would affect mostly the poor.
"'Pag tinaas mo ang gasolina, tataas ang bilihin, tataas ang presyo ng transportasyon, tataas po ang ating mga pagkain dahil 'yan ay konektado sa lahat," Batocabe said.
He said if vanity tax would be imposed, only those who avail of aesthetic services and buy beauty products, who are mostly the rich, will feel its impact.
However, for those workers in industries where being presentable and well-groomed is required, higher taxes on vanity products and services will be a burden.
"Mabibigatan po siyempre," said Zyra Templo, a receptionist, in the report. "'Yung binibili naman po naming makeup [ay] 'yung hindi naman po ganoon kamahal. So 'pag madagdagan po, magkakaroon po ng tax, baka hindi na rin po kami madalas bumili."
Dr. Jean Marquez, a dermatologist, also opposed the proposed vanity tax, saying the desire for self-improvement is not a luxury.
"Ang isang manggagawa ba na gustong mag-abroad at gustong magpatanggal ng tattoo, 'yan ba ay vanity? Ang isang nag-aasam ba na maging flight attendant na kailangan ng whitening treatments para sa binti, 'yan ba ay vanity?" Marquez said.
"Hindi lahat ng nagpapaganda or may gustong mag-improve ng balat at ng itsura o kanilang hitsura o pangagatawan ay dahil sa vanity at mayayaman lamang," she added. —John Ted Cordero/KBK, GMA News