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Threats to PhilHealth’s financial sustainability  

PhilHealth’s reserve fund is now less than a year’s worth of benefit payments. From a conservative fund manager, whose past reserves averaged at four times its annual benefit payments, it has finally become an institution that generously pays for the health needs of the Filipino people. While the said shift is definitely good news, some […]

Health metrics that matter

By the end of the Aquino administration, the Department of Health (DoH) would already have a budget almost five times more than it began to receive at the start of President Benigno S. C. Aquino III’s term, should the proposed P122.7-billion health budget be approved this year. This is a record high in the history […]

Unreliability of the study

Unreliability of the study by Cecilio Arillo – October 16, 2015 IF there’s anything to learn from the latest Oxford Economics (OE) study on illicit tobacco trade released recently in Hong Kong to a selective group of mediamen, it is its unreliability as a reference for taxation as it drew a sharp retort from no less than Internal […]

Minimum cigarette price proposal, a deceptive ploy to prevent further excise tax increase—Sin Tax Coalition

For Immediate Release – Sin Tax Coalition   Civil society groups warn the public about the clever but deceptive proposal of tobacco companies to have a Minimum Cigarette Price (MCP) whose benefits accrue solely to them. Instead of a minimum price, the civil society groups argue that increasing the tobacco tax rate is most effective […]

Good pay for better health care: Leyte shows it can be done

The provincial hospitals of Leyte before typhoon Yolanda struck the area in November 2013 had started drawing attention for their scheme to hike the pay of their physicians and staff despite the impediments. The pay of an obstetrician-gynecologist, for example, stood to rise for August 2013 by P166,000 at the lowest, or by more than […]

Marching to Big Tobacco’s tune?

Has the global tobacco advocacy been manipulated by Big Tobacco’s lobbying agenda? Where the tobacco lobby is concerned, it would be naive to think there’s smoke without fire. One of the dirtier secrets of the international tax world — and yes, the bar is quite high — is the role of tobacco companies in seeking […]