Social WatchPH urges Senator Angara to act on tobacco tax increase | 28 Jul 2018
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·SATURDAY, JULY 28, 2018
Social Watch Philippines urges Senator Angara to act on tobacco tax increase
“It’s your turn to act, Mr. Senator.”
The Social Watch Philippines (SWP), urges Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sonny Angara on Friday to act on Senate Bill 1599 following the strong pronouncements of President Rodrigo Duterte during his #DuterteSONA2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA) supporting the passage of the #UniversalHealthCare (UHC). The President stressed the urgent need for another round of tobacco tax increase to help cover for the full implementation of UHC.
Senate Bill 1599, authored by Senator JV Ejercito, proposes a higher tobacco tax at P90.00/pack, which is targeted to generate some 80-90 billion pesos and will help fund universal health care in the country, benefiting millions of poor Filipinos.
The President himself expressed his full support for the UHC bill which aims to provide a quality health care for every Filipino.
Unfortunately, Senate Bill 1599, which calls for the increase in tobacco tax, has been lying dormant for almost a year in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Sen. Angara. The SWP sees no reason for the legislative inaction on the part of Senator Angara.
SWP urges Senator Angara to take his cue from the President and immediately conduct public hearings and technical working group (TWG) meetings on SB 1599 by inviting the various stakeholders, including health advocates, environmentalists, budget advocates, and social development activists to present their positions on this vital issue.
SWP added that the Senate should act on the tobacco tax increase immediately and not wait and link this with the passage of TRAIN 2.
“The delay is unwarranted. Senator Angara must act immediately on the matter in the name of millions of Filipino people who will benefit from the Universal Health Care. He should remember that he was elected by the Filipino people to serve their interest,” Dr. Marivic Raquiza, Co convenor of SWP said. ##
#UHCLawNow #SayYesToUHC #TaxTobaccoToTheMaxNow #TaxTobaccototheMax4UHC
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.
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