DOH backs Duterte’s call to further increase tax on tobacco, alcohol products

Published July 23, 2019, 4:59 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Analou De Vera 

The Department of Health (DOH) expressed its support toward President Duterte’s call to further increase tax on tobacco and alcohol products.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo (RTVM / MANILA BULLETIN)
Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo

“The DOH fully supports an increase in the tax on tobacco, alcohol, vapes and nicotine delivery systems. This will help decrease their consumption and prevent illness and death among Filipinos. At the same time, money will be raised to help fund universal healthcare,” said Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Leachon, convenor of the Sin Tax Coalition, also supported the President’s pronouncement.

“I agree with President Duterte’s call for the quick implementation of sin tax law so we can reduce the smoking prevalence rate and generate huge funds for UHC implementation,” he said.

“We need to reduce those severely affected by smoking – the price sensitive individuals – the poor, the old, rural and urban folks. The marginalized sectors are the ones severely affected by smoking,” he added.

During his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Duterte called on the Congress to pass the “remaining packages” of his administration’s tax reform program and act on the bills that “would further raise” excise taxes on liquor and tobacco products.

The President also said in jest that smokers should be “exterminated.”

“Sinong naninigarilyo dito? They should be exterminated from the face of the earth… I do not hide my — what’s wrong with me. I acquired Buerger’s disease because I smoke,” he said.