PCCI warns of brand exodus if luxury tax passes

THE proposed tax on luxury goods risks the departure from the Philippine market of luxury-goods brands, possibly undermining the Philippines’ appeal as a shopping destination, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said.

PCCI President George T. Barcelon said on the sidelines of an event in Taguig City on Wednesday that the government should have “reasonable” rules on which luxury goods will be taxed.

“They have to put some criteria (that) are within reason,” Mr. Barcelon noted, pointing to the role of luxury shopping as a draw for visitors in places like Singapore and Hong Kong.

“When some of these luxury brands find that it is not so attractive here, they may just pull out from the country. We need them also (for) the tourist business.”

Mr. Barcelon said the proposed luxury tax should be timebound.

“Whatever is helpful in the meantime to address the challenges that we are facing (but the luxury tax) cannot be in perpetuity. There must be a timeline… These are abnormal times (because the) government deficit is a major concern,” Mr. Barcelon said.

Albay Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda has said that the House Committee on Ways and Means is studying a plan to impose more taxes on wristwatches, bags, beverages, paintings, cars selling for more than P5 million, and residential property worth more than P100 million.

Under the Tax Code, a 20% tax is collected on jewelry, perfume, and yachts. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave