We welcome the statement of President Benigno Aquino III to back reforms on excise taxes on sin products, including tobacco and cigarettes. In his statement, President Aquino said that, “From asocietal concern, I say yes to the idea of an increase in sin taxes.There are trade-offs. As you know, these sin products have a health burden on the people, and this health burden has a peso value.”
Year after year, tobacco-related diseases claim the lives of millions. Inthe Philippines alone, approximately 90,000 die every year or about 10 Filipinos every hour die from smoking-related diseases.  We believe that increased excise taxes, particularly on tobacco products, will not only address the economic costs by curbing tobacco usage, but also increase revenues for the government.