Sin Tax Reform Bill, Pagbobotohan ng mga Senador Ngayong Araw
admin • November 19, 2012 • 3383
FILE PHOTO: Isang sesyon sa Senado na karaniwang pinasisimulan sa pamamagitan ng pag-awit ng pambansang awit na Lupang Hinirang. (UNTV News)
MANILA, Philippines – Posibleng pagbotohan ngayong araw ang bersyon ng Sin Tax bill ni Senador Franklin Drilon na una nang sinertipikahang urgent ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino.
Ayon kay Drilon, ilalahad ng mga senador ang kanilang proposed amendment sa panukalang batas sa gagawing sesyon.
Naniniwala si Drilon na ang agarang pagpasa sa panukalang batas ay makatutulong sa government health agenda at pagsugpo sa lumalalang kaso ng paninigarilyo sa bansa.
Hindi naman tiyak ni Drilon kung ilang senador ang boboto pabor sa panukala.
Samantala, nanawagan naman sa mga senador ang ilang kongresista na huwag madaliin ang pag-apruba sa panukala at ikunsidera ang maaapektuhang tobacco farmers kapag tuluyan nang naisabatas ang Sin Tax bill. (Bryan De Paz & Ruth Navales, UNTV News)
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Monday said that they are targeting to pass a bill that will press for sin taxes which are much higher than that of the House version.
This after President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday (November 12) certified Senate Bill 1074 that seeks to impose higher taxes on alcohol and e-cigarettes including heated tobacco products and vapes.
The higher sin tax aims to support the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act.
Committee chairperson, Sen. Pia Cayetano, said the higher sin tax will ensure that there will be sufficient funds for health services for all Filipinos and lesser consumption of the said sin products.
“I am pushing for a version that recommends higher tax rates than those approved by the House of Representatives for two reasons: first, it will provide proper funding for the delivery of health services to all Filipinos; and second, it will effectively reduce the consumption of sin products,” Cayetano said
In the House version, an estimated P47.9-billion tax will be collected and be allocated to the Universal Health Care program.
A total of P356.9-billion will be allotted for the program in the next five years. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
The Department of Finance (DOF) said there will be a funding gap of P62 billion for the recently passed Universal Health Care (UHC) if Congress will not increase sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol.
In a press briefing of the DOF and the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday (May 17), DOF Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III said there would be difficulty in implementing the UHC without new sources of revenue.
“If we do not establish new sources of revenue, we will not have enough funds to properly, fully implement Universal Health Care and ensure a better quality of life for all Filipinos,” he said.
He adds that if the increased sin taxes will be approved, the UHC can cover around 120 drugs to Filipinos.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said raising taxes will also reduce consumption leading to better health for Filipinos.
“Sin tax is first and foremost a health measure. When the prices of cigarettes and alcohol are higher, it is harder, especially for the youth to buy these very harmful products. We can only reduce consumption by making these “sin” products less affordable to consumers,” he said.
Both departments also envisioned the Philippines to be one of the healthiest in Asia by 2040. They propose to increase tobacco taxes by P60 per cigarette and P40 per liter of alcohol.
“With 9 days remaining in the 17th Congress, there is still time to collectively take action. We look forward to the support of our counterparts in the legislature, during this crunch time. This is the final round, tapusin na natin ang boksing, (Let’s finish the fight)” Duque added.
Senator Manny Pacquiao filed Senate Bill 1599 which aims to increase tobacco excise tax to P60 per pack in the first year of implementation, and an additional nine percent each year afterwards.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian filed Senate Bill 2177 raising tobacco taxes to P70 per pack while Senator JV Ejercito filed Senate Bill 1605 increasing tobacco taxes to P90 per pack.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has assured that there will be enough number of health workers for the full implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) law.
DOH said in a UHC forum in Malate, Manila on Monday that a human resources management plan has been prepared to ensure the equal distribution of staff and the creation of additional human resources for health.
DOH said it will implement a medical doctors’ scholarship program and link it to other existing scholarship programs, including the one for the deployment of doctors, midwives and nurses, to distribute the necessary human resources for health.
The agency is also looking to link allied health professionals who can provide a big help to provincial hospitals in its goal of producing specialists and primary health workers.
Under the law, the country needs to strengthen primary care in the next 10 years, and the DOH plans to do it by partnering with several groups and institutions, including the Philippine College of Family Physicians.
The agency, however, noted that the government needs to take a multi-sectoral action to address any challenge in implementing the UHC. Communities also need to be empowered and be made aware of their rights to proper health care.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) assured it has sufficient funds for the initial implementation of the law, however, it needs additional budget sources for its continuous implementation.
Philhealth has been urging Congress to approve additional measures seeking to hike sin taxes to finance the UHC law. – Robie de Guzman
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