DOH, health advocates push for higher tax on cigarettes
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) and several health advocates are calling on the immediate passage of a measure that would increase the taxes on cigarettes.
No less than Health Secretary Francisco Duque III led a forum on Friday (October 12) to campaign and push the Senate Committee on Ways and Means chaired by Senator Sonny Angara to increase the amount of excise tax on cigarette items.
Duque emphasized that the proposal would help minimize the number of smokers and patients who fall ill and die because of smoking cigarettes.
“The ultimate goal of the DOH is understanding that the Sin Tax law must proceed with the angle of health and
The group urges Senate to consider a P60.00 or P90.00 in tax to each pack of cigarettes.
Based on a prior study on the impact of the measure, around one to two million smokers would be encouraged to quit once the proposal becomes a law.
“Kapag tumaas kasi ang presyo siempre magkakaroon iyan ng impact sa demand, sa consumption at magkakaroon din iyan ng impact sa number of smokers,” Duque said.
The Health Secretary already forwarded a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte requesting him to certify as urgent the proposed increase in excise tax on cigarettes.
Aside from health reasons, the DOH believes that the additional tax on cigarettes will help support the implementation of the Universal Healthcare Bill once it is enacted into law. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano.)
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