DOH pushes for higher tobacco taxes to fund Universal Health Care
The Department of Health (DOH) is pushing for higher tobacco taxes after a survey has showed that a majority of Filipinos are in favor of increasing taxes on cigarettes.
The DOH said the hike on tobacco taxes would support the funding of the Universal Health Care (UHC).
The bill, which has been certified as urgent, was already approved on third and final reading by both chambers of Congress last month.
“This is in line with our non-communicable diseases targets for 2025,” health secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement, referring to the proposed imposition of higher tobacco taxes.
“A recent Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan survey last September this year reveals a 67% public approval for increased tobacco taxes among its respondents, this means that 2 out of 3 Filipinos agree that cigarette taxes should be increased,” he added.
According to Duque, raising the tax rate to P90 would result to help reduce the funding gap of the government for the UHC bill that was estimated at around P164.04B.
Aside from the funding of UHC, Duque said that increasing the tax in tobacco could help lower not only the death rate in the country but also the smoking prevalence of Filipinos down to a target of 15.7 percent. /muf
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