August 18, 2010 - President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on Monday, August 16th said he will most likely prioritize increase in the tax on cigarette as recently proposed by the Department of Health (DOH).
Health Secretary Enrique Ona has been pushing for a 400 percent increase in cigarette tax that would adjust price of a cigarette stick from P2 to P7 and a pack from P30 (0.67 USD) to P120 (2.67 USD). (Philippines - DOH pushing for hefty tax increase on cigarettes..)
“Most probably (because) it is sin taxes,” Aquino said in an ambush interview following the oath-taking of newly-appointed Supreme Court associate justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in Malacanang. Sin tax is a tax levied to socially proscribed goods and services such as tobacco and alcohol.
The President, who himself is a smoker, said he favored increasing taxes on sin products such as cigarettes, noting its benefits to public health. “This sin products have a health burden on the people, may peso value yung healt burden na yan tapos yung taxes versus the health burden are not equal,” he stressed. (Philippines - new president smokes but this should not slow tobacco prevention activities..)
This move intends to lessen smokers in the country especially among the youth and mitigate the health cost that would arise from cigarette use.
Reference: Aquino to support cigarette tax (3:30 p.m.), Jill Beltran/Sunnex, SunStar.com, 8/16/2010.
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