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ANAKALUSUGAN PUSHES FOR SIN TAX HIKE TO FUND UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE
The AnaKalusugan Party-list is pushing to further increase the sin tax in the country to fund Universal Health Care (UHC) and promote a healthier lifestyle especially among the youth.
“Studies have shown that Sin Tax is working lalo na sa ating mga kabataan. Through this measure, we help millions of Filipinos from acquiring preventable diseases – especially tobacco-related illnesses,” AnaKalusugan Party-list Representative Ray Reyes said.
Rep. Reyes cited a recent study from the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) which showed a decrease in alcohol, cigarette, and vape consumption among teens due to the rising costs of sin products.
The recent Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS) showed that smoking among 15–24-year-olds went down from a high of 22 percent in 1994 to 12 percent in 2021.
Rep. Reyes said increasing taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and other sin products will also further help in funding the UHC and give Filipinos access to quality and affordable health care services.
“We are still one of the countries with lowest sin taxes and there is still more work to be done for us to get within the WHO standards of Universal Health Care,” he said.
Rep. Reyes also said that they are currently studying how to increase taxes on vape products and sugary drinks.
“Vape products are usually branded as a ‘safer’ alternative to cigarettes. This is misleading because they still cause harm to the body,” he said.
“Excess intake of sugar meanwhile can lead to obesity which continues its uptrend in the country. According to DOH, more than 30 percent of Filipino adolescents are projected to be overweight and obese by 2030 if no action is taken,” he added.
The Philippines recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Sin Tax Reform Law of 2012.
Over the last decade the price of cigarettes has nearly quadrupled, and consequently the prevalence of tobacco smoking in the country fell from 29.7 percent in 2009 to 19.5 percent in 2021.