Most Rev. Ricardo L. Baccay of the Diocese of Alaminos, Pangasinan has called on the Roman Catholic faithful to shun vices and be wiser in spending money that may be used in more fruitful endeavors.
Baccay cited developments in the sin tax law where lawmakers proposed House Bill (HB) 4144, which imposes higher sin tax rates than intended in original provisions of the law.
“In addition to what Archbishop [Oscar] Cruz said earlier, if you smoke a pack of cigarettes daily, you more or less spend P45.00 each time. That equates to P1,350.00 a month that may be added to your family’s monthly spendings,” he said in a statement.
Earlier reports said Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz had praised HB 4144 as a “pro-health” measure in his Radio Veritas program.
The vocal archbishop cited data from the Social Weather Stations (SWS) that 10 Filipinos die every hour daily from smoking-related diseases.
He said the government’s objective is to ultimately stop vices and he urged citizens to spend their money on more important needs.
Archbishop Emeritus Diosdado Talamayan of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, meanwhile, commended lawmakers for passing the bill since it helps Filipino farmers in their livelihood.
Talamayan hails from Cagayan, one of the North’s tobacco-rich provinces and where many churchgoers are tobacco farmers who depend on the crop to support their families.