Social Watch PH urges Senator Angara to act on unitary tobacco excise tax increase bill | 16 Jul 2018
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·MONDAY, JULY 16, 2018
Social Watch Philippines urges Senator Angara to act on unitary tobacco excise tax increase bill
The Social Watch Philippines (SWP) urged Senator Sonny Angara, chairperson of Ways and Means Committee, to call for public hearings on tobacco sin tax increase. Senate Bill No. 1599, filed by Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Senate Bill No. 1605, filed by Senator JV Ejercito, respectively, have not been tackled since last year.
SWP believes that Senator Angara must understand the urgency of the passage of the unitary tobacco sin tax increase because the measure will finance the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Bill which is now certified by the President as a priority legislative agenda.
The group sees no reason in waiting for the implementation of the Department of Finance TRAIN 2+. Legislation to increase tobacco sin tax can stand alone so as to provide focus and primacy on the issue of health.
The insertion in TRAIN 1 package of the P2.50 or P5.00 annual increase on tobacco excise tax will not be sufficient to fund the proposed UHC Program even if other proposed resources are pooled such as from PAGCOR, PCSO and medical assistance program.
Section 5 of Senate Bill No. 60 authored by Senator Ralph Recto provides the fund sources of the UHC but again, this will not ensure the full implementation of UHC. Currently, government lack P200B for the annual implementation of UHC, of which, only P30B may come from PAGCOR and PCSO’s charity portfolio.
SWP Co-Convener, Isagani Serrano, in a letter, has asked Senator Angara to lead the Senate in approving the unitary excise tax increase at either the rate of P60 or P90.
Serrano also asked the full support of Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Finance, Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and the entire executive department for the immediate passage of the law.
Meanwhile, SWP will hold its national assembly on July 19 and 20 at the Hive Hotel. More than 100 affiliates and guests are expected to attend the assembly dubbed SWP@21: Celebrating our advocacy for a sustainable society.#
#UHCLawNow #SayYesToUHC #TaxTobaccoToTheMaxNow
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.
Isagani R Serrano Marivic Raquiza Jeck Reyes-Cantos Rene Raya Janet Crndng Mars Mendoza Sheic Sims Dhel Lubyo AKTIB Philippines Carol Claudio Tax Tobacco to the Max Elijah San Fernando RoseAnn Batuigas
Social Watch PH calls Pres. Duterte to certify max increase of tobacco sin tax bill as urgent legislation like UHC