Duterte’s OK on tax hikes on alcohol, tobacco can benefit UHC – JV Ejercito
MANILA, Philippines — Senator JV Ejercito welcomed the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte on the proposal to raise excise tax on alcohol and tobacco products, saying it would allow the “sustainable implementation” of the universal healthcare bill (UHC).
“The President’s approval to increase sin taxes would buttress the efficient and sustainable implementation of the UHC that would inclusively benefit all Filipinos,” Ejercito said in a statement on Wednesday.
Ejercito was reacting to the President’s approval of the proposal from the Department of Health and Department of Finance to impose higher excise tax on alcohol and tobacco products.
The House version of the sin tax reform bill, which was passed on third and final reading, imposed the additional tax of P2.50 on every pack of cigarettes.
However, the Senate bill that Ejercito proposed sought to raise the sin tax to P90 per pack.
According to Ejercito, the tax increase will help fund the universal healthcare (UHC) bill which would make healthcare available to all FIlipinos.
“Isa po talaga ito sa nakikita kong mapagkukunan ng pondo para sa UHC, and at the same time, will reduce cigarette smoking in the country,” he said.
The reconciled version of the universal healthcare bill was approved by the bicameral conference committee last November 27.
After being ratified by both Senate and the House of Representatives, the bill will be sent to the President for his signature. /muf
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