Citizen's assemblies for a unitary increase of tobacco sin tax | SWP Press Brief Nov 8 2017
SocialWatch Phils·Thursday, November 9, 2017
Citizen’s assemblies were launched in various cities asking government to implement a unitary increase of tobacco sin tax to its maximum level and additional funds to be allocated for the Universal Health Care program and other government programs that will also directly benefit the people.
Spearheading the citizen’s assemblies were Aktibong Kilusan Tungo sa Iisang Bayan (AKTIB), Polytechnic University of the Philippines- Student Party for Equality and Advancement of Knowledge (PUP-SPEAK) and Social Watch Philippines (SWP).
The assemblies attended by barangay officials, representatives of people’s organizations, academicians, youth and elders tackled the global, national and local concerns on cigarette smoking, unitary increase on tobacco sin tax, other regulatory measures to curb smoking, and the additional revenues that will be used to expand the Universal Health Care program.
Ka Erning Ofracio, AKTIB chairperson, indicated that there are numerous medical evidences that pinpoint to cigarette smoking as the cause of more than 2,000 deaths yearly.
Implementing a unitary increase on tobacco sin tax to its maximum level immediately will deter new smokers and increase the number of quitters. ‘Government has been spending P210 billion annually for cigarette-smoking related sickness’, he added during the Quezon City citizen’s assembly.
On the other hand, Elijah San Fernando, PUP Student Regent, presented during the Polytechnic University of the Philippines youth assembly that the P60B to P90B expected incremental revenues from the unitary sin tax increase on tobacco products will contribute to the financing requirement not only for the expanded Universal Health Care but also for the Education for All and other pro-poor program of the current administration.
San Fernando urges other senators to support the legislations introduced by Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Sen. JV Ejercito calling for a P60 and P90 sin tax increase by January 1, 2018 with a stipulated 9% annual increase thereafter, respectively.
Base on the organizers, more citizen’s assemblies are scheduled in other cities and universities prior to the launching of a national movement for higher tobacco sin tax and its effective utilization for health and other human development programs.
Isagani R Serrano Jeck Reyes-Cantos Rene Raya Marivic Raquiza Janet Crndng Sheic Sims Mars Mendoza Elijah San Fernando Ivy Esparagoza Dhel Lubyo
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