20 per cent text tax plan scuppered

Philippines eyes cigarettes and alcohol instead

Philippines eyes cigarettes and alcohol instead

Plans by the Philippines to put a tax on text messaging have come to naught after protesters made their feelings known.

The government had said it was considering a 20 per cent tax on text messaging to try to recover some of the national debt.

Filipinos send an average of nearly 200 million texts a day - that's about two for each of the country's citizens - giving the government an attractive potential way to fill the state coffers.

Consumers, mobile operators and politicians all protested against the tax, leading President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to distance herself from the plan and opt for revamping taxation on cigarettes and alcohol instead.