Philip Morris not to raise cigarette prices

Marlboro Cigarettes

On January, 4 tobacco company Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. (PMFTC) required its distributors and sellers to market its tobacco products at pre-sin tax recommended retail prices, stating it has not yet increased the prices of its cigarettes.

Cigarette brands, manufactured by PMFTC, are among the most famous among smoking people, including Marlboro.

Cigarette sellers said that many sellers lifted the cigarette prices even before Christmas, even though the higher sin taxes became operational only starting Jan. 1.

“The cigarette maker wants to explain that PMFTC has, up to now, not brought up the prices of its cigarettes,” Philip Morris said.

“It was revealed that some wholesalers and retailers have began marketing cigarette products of the tobacco company at higher prices even in the course of the holidays,” it added.

Some sellers also stated that some distributors had been hoarding last year’s stocks so as to make windfall revenue now that taxes have been brought up.

“We have lifted prices by P1 per stick,” said Aling Edita, who markets cigarettes along Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong. “I know that they increased prices by P2 per stick.”

Edita mentioned that a pack of Marlboro used to sell at P33. She added that a stick of Marlboro now brings P4, but said they were offering at P5 in Pasay City.

However, the Rustans Supermarket branch at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall is having a promotional sale with one pack of Marlboro for only P24.

A store owner said that while the supermarket prolonged the offer until January 15, there was “no delivery” of the popular cigarette brands.

PMFTC is a merger between Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. and Fortune Tobacco Corp. They deal with 90% of the domestic cigarette market.  Beginning January 1, excise tax on the lower rate cigarettes was increased to P12 per pack while that on the higher rate was established at P25.

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