Former Health, Finance secretaries join forces for excise tax reform

Quezon City – STANDING SIDE BY SIDE, former health and finance officials, Alberto Romualdez, Esperanza Cabral, Margarito Teves, Ernest Leung and Milwida Guevara presented their manifesto of support and called on Congress for the immediate passage of House Bill 5727 to protect health, save lives and raise much needed revenue for tobacco farmers and health services for all.

Signed by a group of 13 high level public officials from as far back as the first Aquino administration, the position paper entitled ‘Manifesto of Support for HB5727: An Act Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco’ highlighted the benefits of a firm national policy that will fix the current excise tax structure on tobacco and alcohol, that is good for health and revenue.

Sin Taxes for PhilHealth

The manifesto emphasized how the reformed tax measure will prevent price-sensitive sectors such as the youth and the poor from smoking, but will also among others feed into the much needed Php60 billion resource for universal health care, which translates to 5.2 million indigent families with health insurance.

The bill is touted as a win-win solution to improve and insure health, save lives, raise the income of the government, and protect the limited resources of the Filipino family by combating the high health and economic costs of low taxation on tobacco and alcohol, as well as provide the support needed by tobacco farmers to shift to alternative livelihood.

The signatories of the manifesto were former Department of Finance Secretaries Teves, Leung, Roberto de Ocampo, Jesus Estanislao and Ramon del Rosario, former Undersecretaries Romeo Bernardo and Milwida Guevara; former Health Secretaries Romualdez, Cabral, Jaime Galvez Tan, Juan Flavier, and Alfredo Bengzon, and former National Treasurer Leonor Briones

Urging Filipinos to Sign on for Health

The group called on Filipinos to urge their legislators to support the Abaya-authored bill, and vote for health.

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For a copy of the manifesto, click here

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