SWP slams Senator Angara’s inaction on tobacco tax increase bills in Senate | SWP Press Release 18 Sep 2018
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2018
SWP slams Senator Angara’s inaction on tobacco tax increase bills in Senate
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) slams the continued inaction of Senate of the Philippines Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sonny Angara on Senate Bills 1599 and 1605 that aim to increase taxes on #tobacco products.
Senator Angara, in his recent tweet reply to SWP‘s Press Release, said that “Not true no action. Taxes on cigarettes were increased this year. For further/newer increases must originate from the House under the Constitution.”
However, SWP maintains that Senate versions, SB 1599 and SB 1605 are still pending in his committee for almost a year, without conducting public hearings and public consultations and even a committee report.
“Senator Angara should not hide behind the initiative of the House of Representatives to justify his legislative inaction for over a year and muddle the issue. That the public will forget that he has been sitting on a bill calling for tax increase on tobacco for a long time now. We and other concerned citizens will make sure the public remembers the election next year,” SWP said.
The SWP and its allied organizations have been writing and knocking at the door of the office of the Senator for almost a year now, urging his committee to hear the Senate tobacco tax bills, but no action was made by Angara.
Meanwhile, the passage of higher tobacco tax is seen to prevent around 700,000 Filipinos from starting to smoke at the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term. This should be reason enough for Senator Angara to delay Senate discussions on higher tobacco tax bills no longer.
#TaxTobaccoToTheMaxNow #TaxTobaccototheMax4UHC #RaiseTobaccoTax4UHC #health #social #yosi #sigarilyo #smoking
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