Last year in November, Senator Sonny Angara, chairman of the senate committee on ways and means and Department of Finance (DOF), said in an interview that an excise tax of 10% will be imposed on cosmetic surgeries, which is estimated P10 billion may be deducted from the Belo Medical Group Company, owned by Dra. Vicki Belo-Koh, and other beauty doctors’ income once the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN has been approved.
This was after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon noticed the cosmetic surgery trend in the Philippines.
“Ayoko namang sabihing mahihirapan but definitely, may kaunting give and take diyan. Laging ganu’n naman ang nature ng bicam, (I don’t want to say that it’s challenging but definitely, there is ‘give and take’. That’s always bicam’s nature)” Angara said.
“Parang yoyo siya. Kasi nu’ng una, tinanggal namin, tapos ibinalik ni Senador (Franklin) Drilon, tapos tinanggal ni Senador (Ralph) Recto, tapos ibinalik na naman ni Senador Drilon.” Angara said.
“So naging ganu’n, naging kompromiso na lang ‘yung 10 percent, (It’s like a yoyo. At first, we removed it, then it was brought back by Senator Drilon, then removed again by Senator Ralp Recto, and now, it Drilon is trying to bring it back. That’s how the 10% excise tax was compromised),” Angara added.
Exemption to this are reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, disease or those meant to correct dysfunctional body areas, which will remain tax exempted.
Now, it was confirmed that the government has taken the TRAIN in effect, wherein cosmetics and aesthetics industry are included.
Belo has spoken regarding this issue during an interview the Philstar.com, wherein she shared and explained the cons of including the aesthetics industry in the tax reform.
“Beauty is not only for the rich but also for everyone. To be taxed on anything, from food to makeup and aesthetic services, is unfair.” Belo said.
This would affect more young professionals than rich people, wherein most of her patients are millennials and young professionals who want to undergo beauty enhancement like Rhinoplasty, which is one of the most in-demand cosmetic surgeries in the country.
“Millennials now are more open about nose jobs because of Instagram and social media. Millenials saved up for a long time. They also deserve to be beautiful,” Belo said.
“I’m really fascinated by this generation because it’s really different from the ones I’ve known before. They’re so talented, they’re very artistic, they’re not about money. They’re more about self-expression. I want to wrap my mind around them. I hate it when I don’t understand something, but I know that this generation is very talented and world-class.” Belo added.
In addition to this, Belo said that the new tax reform will kill medical tourism in the country because local and foreign visitors might be discouraged to try Philippines’ aesthetic services.