By Analou De Vera
Health advocates has urged lawmakers to prioritize the proposal to increase taxes on alcoholic beverages, heated tobacco products (HTPs), and vape products.
“Increasing the tax on sin products is proven effective in lowering consumption among Filipinos, particularly the youth. We urge the other senators to support this measure, and join the fight to ensure better health outcomes for our countrymen,” said Sin Tax Coalition co-convener Dr. Anthony Leachon.
Leachon said that the proposal to increase taxes on HTPs and vapes will help in preventing the youth to be enticed to try using these products.
“We also remind our legislators that the 2018 National Nutrition Survey (NNS) revealed that one in every five vape users in the country is aged 10 to 19. This is a serious matter that must be addressed, and raising taxes will help regulate the use of these harmful products,” said Leachon.
Meanwhile, Leachon said that alcohol consumption is one of the causes of non-communicable diseases.
“With the 2018 NNS also reporting an increase in drinking prevalence in the country, we must act quickly to put a stop to this, and increase taxes on alcoholic beverages to ensure better health for our countrymen,” he added.
Leachon said that the tax increase proposal will help generate revenues necessary to fully fund the Universal Health Care (UHC) program.
“This would help bridge the funding gap that still exists for the first year of the UHC Law’s implementation. It is imperative that we secure the necessary funding that will help us reach the milestones that UHC aims to achieve,” said Leachon.