Philippines is concentrating on combating e-cigarette smuggling

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    During the sixth Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) meeting, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. highlighted the urgent need to strengthen law enforcement to curb the smuggling of e-cigarettes. This initiative is critical to addressing the negative impacts of e-cigarettes on the Filipino tobacco industry, as detailed in the PSAC report.

    Significant Impact on the Tobacco Industry

    The smuggling of e-cigarettes has severely affected the Philippine tobacco sector, endangering the livelihoods of approximately 2.2 million workers. The PSAC report indicates significant business losses due to a consumer shift towards e-cigarettes, particularly among younger demographics.

    Ramping Up Anti-Smuggling Measures

    In response, President Marcos Jr. has tasked the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) with escalating their efforts to combat the smuggling of e-cigarettes. Special Assistant to Economic and Economic Affairs, Frederick Go, has also confirmed that the Department of Trade and Industry’s Consumer Protection Group will allocate specific resources to monitor the e-cigarette industry more effectively.

    Tax Stamp System Against E-cigarette Smuggling

    To further these efforts, BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. assured that a tax stamp system would be implemented. This system is designed to help identify and seize illegal e-cigarette products, distinguishing them from legal goods and enhancing the fight against smuggling.

    Ensuring Market Integrity and Consumer Safety

    The initiatives spearheaded by President Marcos Jr. aim to enhance the efficiency of anti-smuggling operations and ensure the normal functioning of the market. These measures are essential to protecting consumer rights and addressing the growing concerns surrounding the smuggling of e-cigarettes, thus safeguarding both the economy and public health.