Social Watch Philippines and AKTIB lead World No Tobacco Day campaign all over Metro Manila | SWP Press Release 31 May 2019
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2019
.Social Watch Philippines (SWP) and partner grassroots-based organization, Aktibong Kilusan Tungo sa Iisang Bayan (AKTIB) launch activities on World No Tobacco Day 2019 with the theme “Choose health not tobacco” on May 31, 2019, Friday, in various areas of Metro Manila.
SWP and AKTIB are proponents of the “Tax Tobacco to the Max” and “Smoke-Free Environment” movements to promote health in Filipino communities, as well as the Universal Health Care for Filipinos. The “Tax Tobacco to the Max” movement in particular is crucial to the fruition of the Universal Health Care for Filipinos, as deficits of its funding can be bridged by raising the tax of tobacco products. Smoking is also one of the leading causes of death among Filipinos as it claims over 100,000 lives every year. By raising the taxes on tobacco and promoting smoke-free environments, SWP and AKTIB seek to promote the health and wellness of the Filipino people.
In a speech to the Senate on May 20, 2019, SWP Co-Convenor Dr. Marivic Raquiza urged the Senators to raise taxes on tobacco. Senate is expected to approve the bill to raise tobacco excise tax on Monday, June 3, 2019. A popular clamor to raise it to P90 per pack is supported by health and medical professionals, community-based organizations, youth and students, farmers, and government line agencies. No less than President Rodrigo Duterte backs up this proposed legislative action.
As Dr. Raquiza stated in her speech, “The reasons for further raising taxes on cigarettes are well-established and affirmed by experts, both local and international, including those in civil society and the general public… Please remember that Filipinos support the goals of the bill: according to a Pulse Asia Survey, 3 out of every 4 Filipinos are in favor of increasing taxes on cigarettes.”
Today, we can find overwhelming support for raising the taxes of tobacco in different areas in Metro Manila alone. SWP and AKTIB conducted activities in the cities of Manila, Pasay, Quezon City, Pasig, San Juan, Caloocan, Valenzuela, and the municipality of Pateros. These activities were attended by different sectors including the youth, health advocates, local officials, medical professionals, and others.
In photos: Residents of Manila gather at Sta. Cruz, Manila to celebrate World No Tobacco Day and to call for “Taxing Tobacco to the Max” for Universal Health Care and a Healthier Filipino.
In photos: Local officials and residents of Valenzuela City gather at People’s Park to celebrate World No Tobacco Day, with Yosifer, the mascot depicting the harm of cigarette smoking.
In photo: Citizens of Quezon City take to the streets and gather at V. Luna cor. East Avenue to call for “Taxing Tobacco to the Max”, choosing the UHC, and against the harm of tobacco through secondhand smoking.
In photo: Citizens of Brgy. San Pedro, Pateros celebrate World No Tobacco Day with call for “Health, not Tobacco”.
In photo: Local officials and residents of San Perfecto, San Juan celebrate the World No Tobacco Day with a call for a Smoke-Free Barangay.
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