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.
“It’s very hard to put a no pass-on provision because it is an indirect tax. [A tax is part of the] cost of doing business. You have to pass it on otherwise the business will be losing,” Javier said.
Speaker Prospero Nograles said in a text message to reporters,
“It is very clear that based on our previous hearings, there is no need to increase the cost of the short messaging system service of our telcos because the P1 per text that is already being charged from consumers is more than enough to cover the five-centavo tax for each text,”
Nograles also said that the real cost of sending each text message was only 25 centavos.