SocialWatch PH Spearheads #UsapangKalusugan2k19, a Conversation on linking Tobacco Control & Dev’t | SWP PR 10 July 2019
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019
Citizen’s watchdog Social Watch Philippines spearheads discussions on linking tobacco control and development with its event, “Conversation on Tobacco Control Initiatives, Impact of 17th Congress Tobacco Tax Increase, and Universal Health Care-Implementing Rules and Regulations” held at Conrado Benitez Hall in the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement in Mother Ignacia, Quezon City.
The event was attended by 77 participants including different sectors, Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities, Barangay Health Workers, and civil society, and representatives Local Government Units, Department of Health, Department of Finance. It was also graced by the presence of the following speakers from different sectors in health, finance, and civil society:
Dr. Maria Victoria Raquiza, Co-Convenor, Social Watch Philippines, welcomed the attendees through a discussion about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the importance of equity in the Philippine society. She discussed the importance of linking tobacco as a development issue and urged everyone to support trade, industry, agriculture, and education for vulnerable populations and the poor in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr. Antonio Dans, Chief of the Adult Medicine Research Unit of the UP Manila Department of Medicine, discussed contentious issues of the present form of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Universal Health Care Act.
Dr. Napoleon Arevalo, OIC-Director IV of the Department of Health, discussed the WHO-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Implementation in the Philippines, The Global Tobacco Epidemic and the health and development risks related to smoking.
Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo, Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) discussed the Challenges in FCTC Implementation in an international perspective.
Ms. Rosemarie Edillo, U/Sec. of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) discussed the UN Sustainable Development Goals in light of the Philippine Development.
Dra. Chona Lolarga, Coordinator of the Pasig Tobacco Control Program, discussed Pasig City’s achievements and challenges in achieving a healthier Pasig through promoting smoke-free environment.
Mr. Ralph Degollacion, Project Manager of Health Justice discussed the importance of health promotion.
Ms. Ira Camarao, Technical Staff of the Department of Finance, discussed the implications of Sin Taxes in bridging the financial gap of implementation for the Universal Health Care and in promoting health through making unhealthy and addictive substances less accessible to vulnerable populations.
Lastly, Mr. John Christian Payumo, Project Assistant of Social Watch Philippines discussed Tobacco Control: A Leverage to Attain SDGs in the Philippines through the research report by Social Watch Philippines.
Social Watch Philippines ended the discussion of key achievements and strategies on the campaign for raising excise taxes on tobacco for Universal Health, thanking their partners in paving the way for higher tobacco taxes as passed in the Congress and the Senate, and urging their partners to continue fighting for Tax Tobacco to the Max for UHC.
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) is a network of over a hundred civil society organizations and individuals engaged in research and lobby efforts in holding the government accountable for the fulfillment of national, regional and international commitments to eradicate poverty and carry out social, economic, and gender justice. SWP promotes people-centered sustainable development by proactively monitoring the progress and delivery of social commitments forged by the government and influencing the outcomes of policy decisions through citizen's participation in public finance.