Philippines: Tobacco Industry Fails Trust Index

The 2015 Philippine Trust Index survey results show that tobacco, alcohol, advertising and public relations are the least trusted industries in the country’s business sector. The 4th Philippine Trust Index is released by Engage, a newly launched public affairs and government relations group, and covered 1,620 respondents from various socioeconomic, educational and demographic backgrounds.

This is no surprise. That is why the tobacco industry spends so much money buying public approval through its CSR activities and seeks endorsements from politicians.

Recommendations 5.2 of the FCTC Article 5.3 states, “Parties should require the tobacco industry and those working to further its interests to periodically submit information on tobacco  production, manufacture, market share, marketing expenditures, revenues and any other activity, including lobbying, philanthropy, political contributions and all other activities not prohibited or not yet prohibited under Article 13 of the Convention.”

There is still plenty of room for improvement in the implementation of the Article 5.3. For more information, see SEATCA’s 2015 TI Interference Index.

 

Malaysia: Tobacco industry is screaming as government slaps on big tax hike

The tobacco industry in Malaysia is hopping mad as on Tuesday, 3 Nov, the Malaysian government announced a tax increase of a whopping 40%. The announcement was made and implemented in less than 24 hours thus preventing the tobacco industry and retailers from hoarding.

 

BAT, the largest tobacco company operating in Malaysia (62% market share), let out a big shrillexpressing “extreme disappointment and shock” describing the tax hike as “massive unprecedented”. Predictably, it also dished out the usual ‘warning’ that the move will result in more illegal cigarettes flooding the market. BAT’s highest selling brand will now cost USD4.00 (RM17.00) from the previous USD3.20 (RM13.80).

Well done, Malaysia! For more information, see Excise Duties (Amendment) Order 2015