Party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño of Bayan Muna on Wednesday proposed that 50 percent of revenues collected from so-called sin taxes, as soon as the Congress passes the measure, be earmarked for the government’s educational and health services.
Casiño’s proposal came after the House Committee on Ways and Means deleted a provision that provides for an automatic P500,000 for tobacco and alcohol addiction prevention and the treatment of tobacco-related illnesses as well as a program to educate the youth on the unhealthy effects of smoking and drinking.
“The sumptuary or regulatory purpose of the bill is not evident, since there is no earmarking for health purposes. The bill is now all about squeezing money from these vices without necessarily discouraging these unhealthy habits among our people.” Casiño said in a statement.
He estimates that the government could get around P3.5 billion in additional revenues next year with the committee’s approved version increasing specific taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, or so-called sin products, by a uniform 20 percent.
Casiño said for a “sin tax” to achieve its social purpose, its proceeds must be given back to the people.
According to the World Health Organization, Philippines is among the 22 high-burdened countries in the world. It also said that tuberculosis is also the sixth leading causes of illness and deaths among Filipinos.
By Maricel V. Cruz