Dagdag na 10% tax sa soft drinks, carbonated at sweetened drinks, pinag-aaralan na ng Kongreso

admin   •   August 19, 2014   •   12526

Ang pagpapataw ng dagdag na 10% buwis sa mga inuming may matataas na sugar contents tulad ng mga soft drink ay pinag-aaralan na sa mababang kapulungan ng kongreso (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — Pinag-aaralan na sa mababang kapulungan ng Kongreso ang pagpapataw ng dagdag na 10-porsiyentong buwis sa mga inuming may matataas na sugar contents tulad ng soft drinks, carbonated at sweetened drinks.

Ayon sa pagaaral, isang Pilipino ang namamatay kada isang segundo dahil sa mga komplikasyong dulot ng diabetes.

Sa pinakahuling tala ng World Health Organization (WHO), noong 2008 ay umabot na sa 3.5 milyong Pilipino ang may diabetes o isa sa kada limang Pilipino at posible pa itong lumobo sa 7.8 million sa taong 2030.

Sa House Bill No. 3365 na inihain ni Nueva Ecija Representative Estrellita Suansing, sinabi nito na isa sa pangunahing dahilan ng pagkakaroon ng iba’t ibang sakit gaya ng diabetes at obesity ay ang sobrang pag-inom ng soft drinks.

“We are not prohibiting the soft drinks here, we are just curving the consumption reducing the consumption because of the effect to the health,” paliwanag ng kongresista.

Batay sa pag-aaral ng University of the Philippines School of Economics, ang kalahating litro ng soft drinks ay katumbas ng 150-300 liters of water upang maalis ang mga toxic na dala nito sa katawan ng tao.

Ayon kay Suansing, sa pagpapataw ng 10-porsiyentong dagdag buwis sa soft drinks, carbonated at sweetened drinks ay bababa ng 8% ang consumption nito lalo na sa mga bata.

“No nutritional value to any of these drinks so as far as children is concern if we keep soft drinks, fruit juices, artificial drinks cheap children will have preference drinking these unhealthy beverages,” pahayag ni Dr. Cielo Magno, UP School of Economics.

Sa pagtaya naman ng Department of Finance, posibleng makakolekta ang bansa ng P10.77 bilyon kung maisasabatas ang panukalang dagdag buwis sa mga soft drink.

“This is based on the existing 2013 revenues of the large tax payers,” saad ni Finance Assistant Secretary Solidad Cruz.

Tumutol naman sa panukalang ito ang Beverage Industry Association of the Philippines (BIAP).

Ayon kay Atty. Adel Tamano ng BIAP, wala pang malinaw na pag-aaral sa relasyon ng pagpapataw ng dagdag na buwis sa pagpapababa sa kaso ng iba’t ibang uri ng sakit sa bansa.

Dagdag pa nito, posibleng magdulot pa ito ng negatibong epekto sa ekonomiya ng bansa.

Aniya, “Taxation is the wrong policy to address obesity and related health issues.”

Ayon sa author ng panukalang batas, sakaling maisabatas, ang lahat ng kikitain dito ay direktang mapupunta sa mga Pilipinong maaapektuhan ng kalamidad.

Sa susunod na pagdinig ng House Committee on Ways and Means ay ipatatawag nito ang mga kumpanyang nagbebenta ng mga nasabing produkto. (Grace Casin / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

No need for testing, quarantine for Pinoys from countries with low COVID-19 cases — DOH

UNTV News   •   October 20, 2020

Filipinos returning from countries with low coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases no longer need to undergo quarantine and testing, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued classification on different prevalence levels of each country for the department to determine which countries have low COVID-19 cases.

“For those low to medium prevalence countries na may COVID-19, kapag dumating ang mga OFWs dito maaari nang hindi na muna i-test. Mag-comply ng minimum health standards, they can go back to their provinces, (For those with low to medium prevalence countries with COVID-19, OFWs from those areas no longer need to be tested. Just comply with the minimum health standards and they can go back to their provinces),” Vergeire said.

However, the Health Department reiterates that Filipinos who return to their provinces still need to follow the minimum health standards and symptoms monitoring implemented in the area. Vergeire said the local government units (LGUs) will be in charge of monitoring their condition and COVID-19 testing, if necessary.

It is also under the LGUs mandate to test individuals entering their areas to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Whatever the local governments would require for them to enter into their province, they have to comply,” Vergeire said.

She added LGUs have their own guidelines for domestic travelers, including those who are coming from areas with high COVID-19 cases, such as the National Capital Region. -AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

There is hope COVID-19 vaccine may be ready by end of 2020, WHO says

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed hope that a vaccine against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may be ready by year-end.

“We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in his address at the end of a two-day meeting of the agency’s Executive Board on the pandemic.

Tedros did not offer any additional details.

He, however, called for solidarity and political commitment from world leaders to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine when it becomes available.

“We need each other, we need solidarity and we need to use all the energy we have to fight the virus,” he said.

Nine experimental vaccines in various stages of trials are in the pipeline of the WHO-led COVAX global vaccine facility that aims to distribute two billion doses by the end of 2021.

A total of 172 countries have joined WHO’s COVAX initiative, excluding the United States, China, and Russia. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mirasol Abogadil)

Finance dept. orders fund agencies to craft cyber defense strategy

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) has ordered government financial institutions (GFI), state-run pension fund, insurance agencies, and revenue and treasury agencies to work together in formulating a shared policy to shield their respective systems from possible cybersecurity threats.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the move is in line with the Duterte administration’s initiative to fast-track its digital transformation and strengthen the cybersecurity of key agencies against potential attacks, and data breaches in the digital landscape.

“We are keen on institutionalizing this cybersecurity program. As the Duterte administration fast-tracks its digital transformation initiatives to meet the challenges of the emerging New Economy, we must also see to it that we have the capacity to defend our critical systems from cyber-attacks from third parties and other possible hazards,” Dominguez said.

“Investing in cybersecurity is not only a crucial national security concern, but is also indispensable to protecting sensitive citizen information stored in the systems of our GFIs and other state-run institutions,” he added.

In line with this, Dominguez instructed GFIs and other agencies under his department to enter into an agreement on shared cyber defense strategy.

These agencies include the Land Bank of the Philippines, United Coconut Planters’ Bank and the Development Bank of the Philippines; the Insurance Commission, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., Government Service Insurance System and Social Security System; and the Bureau of the Treasury, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Bureau of Customs.

Dominguez said he has also ordered the creation of a working group composed of representatives from these agencies to work on identifying the potential cybersecurity threats and cases of cyber fraud that they may encounter, and on determining ways of eliminating or mitigating these risks.

He said the government may tap the expertise of the private sector in coming up with a joint cyber defense strategy.

The Finance chief also said that the government is taking a prudent approach to protecting the country’s financial “infostructure,” especially at this time when the digital space has become vulnerable to a wide range of sophisticated cyber attacks and threats.

“We are serious in protecting our national interests and ensuring the safety of citizen information so we are taking steps to heighten our digital protection strategies,” Dominguez said.

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