Aquino all out for sin tax bill but can’t quit smokingBy Jo Martinez-Clemente
Inquirer Central Luzon
MONCADA, Tarlac, Philippines—He is for taxing cigarettes to extinction but cannot himself quit the harmful habit.
Smoking is the only way to relieve himself of work-related stress, President Benigno Aquino III told reporters at the launch of the “Hardin ng Lunas” project here on Friday.
“If I stop smoking, there’ll be nothing to help me decompress,” he said, following a speech in which he encouraged his provincemates to plant medicinal plants and organic vegetables in order to keep fit and healthy.
Besides, he said there was no law yet banning smoking.
Mr. Aquino clarified, however, that he takes care that he does not inconvenience or harm anyone by his smoking.
In his speech, Mr. Aquino reiterated the folk saying, “Kung ano ang itinanim, siya ang aanihin (What you sow, you reap),” in urging residents to sustain and continue replicating the medicinal and organic farms that have been developed in the province through the “Hardin ng Lunas” project.
He said his program of government could be likened to the project because what he wanted to plant was something that would yield a better life for Filipinos.
“Let’s plant things that will sustain us so no Juan or Juana de la Cruz will be left behind during harvest time,” Mr. Aquino said.
“Hardin ng Lunas” is a private sector-initiated project that seeks to promote the use and production of medicinal plants and organic vegetables, especially in areas not easily reached by health services.
Mr. Aquino said it is not only seedlings that are being planted but knowledge, referring to the various seminars and training programs that the pilot barangays underwent in the maintenance of herbal gardens and in the preparation of herbal concoctions.
“Health care is not a privilege, it is a right,” he said.
The “Hardin ng Lunas” project is led by Tarlac Heritage Foundation and supported by the Dermatology Department of St. Luke’s Medical Center. It is also funded by San Miguel Corp., East-West Seed Bank and Traditional Medicine Center of the Department of Health.
First posted 9:46 pm | Friday, October 12th, 2012