Following persistent public protest, the House of Representatives is now retreating from its the plan to impose a five-centavo tax on text messages two weeks after approving it for plenary voting on Sept. 8.
The Ways and Means committee of the House of Representatives approved last Tuesday a bill proposing to collect a five-centavo excise tax for every text message sent.
Antique Rep. Exequiel Javier said the committee agreed to a proposed tax on text without the “no pass-on provision” being insisted by Ilocos Sur Rep. Eric Singson. The no pass-on provision (House bill 6625) would prevent telecommunication firms from passing the tax on to consumers. Continue Reading
Right after the news came out, TxtPower led an SMS revolt to force the government to abandon its plans to impose a tax on text messages. They called on all Filipino texters to send the text message, NO TO TEXT TAX! directly to Sec. Peter Favila’s mobile phone number at 09178176110. In less than a day, Malacanang, through Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye, said that it will not pursue a new tax on text messaging.
Trade Secretary, Peter Favila has proposed adding a tax on text messages to help compensate income losses from proposals to end sales tax on oil products.
Favila told GMANews in an interview that imposing a tax on SMS could make Filipinos shift their focus on endeavors that are more productive. “Texting is also a source of negative reason…(and) it makes people more cynical,” he said in an ambush interview shortly after the weekly press conference of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita.