DOH, PhilHealth’s sin tax shares in 2020 budget P28.3 B short – Recto
MANILA, Philippines – The sin tax shares of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in the proposed 2020 budget is P28.3 billion short of what the law mandates, Senator Ralph Recto said.
In a statement on Thursday, Recto said that under Republic Act 11346, 50 percent of excise tax collections on alcohol, tobacco and soda products should be earmarked for health.
Recto said that in 2018, total collections from alcohol, tobacco, and sugar-sweetened beverages amounted to P242.8 billion.
“Thus, the combined DOH-PhilHealth 50 percent should be P110.9 billion, net of other deductions,” Recto, who formerly chaired the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said.
Under the law, he explained that 80 percent of the total sin tax shares for healthcare should be given to PhilHealth for the implementation of the Universal Health Care while the remaining 20 percent should be allocated to the DOH’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) and medical assistance program.
“Following the 80-20 sharing, P88.72 billion should go to PhilHealth, and P22.18 billion to DOH-HFEP and medical assistance,” Recto said.
The senator, however, pointed out that under the proposed 2020 national budget, PhilHealth will only get P67.3 billion or P21.42 billion less than its rightful share.
As for the DOH, Recto said the agency’s HFEP was only earmarked P5.9 billion while its medical assistance program’s allocation was only P9.4 billion, or P6.9 billion short of what the law guarantees.
“Batay sa 2020 budget, ang kabuuang utang ng DBM (Department of Budget Management) sa kanila mula sa sin tax collections ay P28.3 billion (Based on the 2020 budget, the DBM owes the DOH and PhilHealth P28.3 billion from sin tax collections).” Recto said.
“The Department of Health and PhilHealth should not be begging for funds. They should automatically be getting what is due them from the TRAIN (Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion) Law,” he added.
Recto further said that RA 11346 was “sold on the seductive promise that taxes collected from sin products will be spent for health” and that “higher taxes on vice will be used to fund the virtues of health care.”
“Government must redeem, and not renege on this promissory note. Congress is duty-bound to rectify this mistake,” he added. /gsg
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