Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sin Tax Bill: Potent Revenue for Health Care in the Philippines


One of the issues in the government today is about the Sin Tax Bill that has yet to be approved. There are multiple arguments that balances the approval of the said bill. But the senate is confident that the bill will be passed out sooner or later. So what is Sin Tax?

House Bill 5272, or the Sin Tax Bill, aims to change the existing taxes imposed on sin products - alcohol and tobacco goods. Higher taxes results to higher costs are seen as potential revenue that will help fund the Universal Health Care Program of the administration from the revenue of the "sin" products, whose adverse effects are mostly borne by the poorer segments of society.

Sate government favor sin taxes because they generate enormous amount of revenue and are usually easily accepted by the general public because they are indirect taxes that will only affect to those who use the products. This kind of added tax will typically be one of the first taxes recommended by lawmakers to help fill the budget gap.

When I watched the news regarding Sin Tax Bill, according to the department of Health (DOH), Philippines has an estimated 17.3 million tobacco consumers. An average Filipino consumes about 1, 073 cigarette sticks annually, while the smokers in the region consumes less than a thousand sticks yearly. It is to no surprise that this kind of number shows since the price of cigarette in our country is very low.

It is true that the added revenue from the "sin" products can be used for the medical sector. This also be a solution for a Filipino Healthy living since smoking is responsible for the 71% of lung cancer death in the world and is the leading form of cancer in the Philippines. Statistics shows that 10 Filipino die every hour because of smoking. A 10 percent increase in tobacco taxes will reduce the number of smokes by two million by 2016 according to DOH. This is a significant decline in the number of smokers will also reduce the number of smoking related deaths from direct smoking and inhaling second hand smoke. On the other hand. drinking alcohol, even though effects are relatively less severe health-wise than smoking, it still posed a number of costs on the individual and to the society.

Sin Tax Bill aims to save the lives of the poor and to prevent the future holders- children- from taking up smoking when the increased tax is implemented. At the same time, the said bill will be able to improve the healthcare service deliver to cater to the poorest of the country. This will also reach the very places that needs medical healthcare more.

This bill will help a lot of people and society alike. If the people fear that the tobacco farmers will lose jobs, the government have prepared a plan or solution for that. It is said that 80% of the production of raw tobacco will be used for export and 20% will be used of domestic use.

If people say that the proposed bill is anti poor, my say is that, the bill will be used not only for the poor, but for the poorest of the poor that really needed medical care.

If the anti sin tax bill group says that the bill is against the workers, my say is that, how could one work and earn a living if the health of the smoker and the other people around him is on jeopardy?

29 comments:

  1. I like this bill especially that they can help the poorest of the poor to be medicated in times of emergency. But I do hope that they will be serious about this bill. This can really help the poor people.

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    1. Yeah, people have doubts coming in and go whether the government will put the said funds in the proper place.

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  2. A watered down sin tax bill is not good enough. I propose we take Singapore example of posting in the pack of the cigarettes the ill effects of smoking and other vices.

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    1. In my opinion. Some Filipino will disregard the warning and will continue to smoke. Too sad that they don't fear that.

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  3. I guess we can start with this version and work from there.

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    1. Everything will start at something little and will eventually grow with the right governance.

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  4. Pro ako sa sintax bill.Mas marami matutulungan ito. Sana magtuluy tuloy na

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  5. The anti-Sin Tax bill is just protecting their constituents but disguise it for the protection of workers. How about the workers in the rest of the country whose health is affected by direct smoking and indirect smoking?

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    1. That is something I see when they are going anti in a good project.

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  6. While this is good in principle, there's one true and scary thing about vices: no matter the cost, there will be those that pursue them. This will lead to a lot of ruined finances, I predict.

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  7. I've heard about this on Pilipinas News, especially when Sen. Defensor shows how much government used money for those who are sick because of cigarettes and beers. Kesa dun sa gumagawa ng mga produktong ito. And I just heard earlier tonight na nakapasa na ang Sin Tax Bill, or nabingi lang ako? Kasama kasi ng balita ang RH Bill na patuparin na daw yun, na PRO din ako. :))

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    1. Really? I haven't watched or read of any news yet for the week so, I am yet to update myself. Thanks for the info though. PRO din ako sa RH Bill. :)

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  8. this bill is long overdue. i heard from the news lately that this proposal is progressing... just don't know what if it was passed already. i hope so

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    1. The government wishes to push this through as what i heard from the news. I just don't know any updates for now.

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  9. I'm PRO Sin Tax Bill. This will PROBABLY help less fortunate chain smokers to finally stop, or would it?
    Well I don't get it that they can spend to smoke but complain about nothing to eat. See what I mean?

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    1. I get what you mean since I also observed that too many times before I knew this bill.

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  10. This issue is just not that enticing for us specially for me - for the record, sin tax bill has been raging way back 90's and still can't resolved a thing. when we see it in different sides, there are good points to pros and cons - it about how to play each part to benefit both and for good of all.

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  11. I hope this bill will be passed. There are already millions of smokers in our country and TB is one of the main killers for our fellow Filipinos, if this bill will be passed, more lives will be saved.

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  12. I am ok with this bill. But then again, I think this one will take years before becoming a full pledge law, just like the RH bill.

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  13. Ang dami kong nakikitang tarpaulin about dito, pero ngayon ko lang naintindihan. Thanks for sharing

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  14. I really appreciate those people who have passed this bill and i really hope na magtuloy-tuloy na at ma-aprobahan ang batas na ito. marami ang nagkakasakit ng dahil sa sigarilyo at talagang kailangan na itong mabawasan sapagkat hindi lang ang nagsisigarilyo ang nagkakasakit, kahit mga inosenteng mamayan lang ang nakalanghap ay malaki ang posibilidad na magkasakit rin ng TB.

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  15. I am also in favor of sin tax bill, since it will help the poor. But for sure, there will still be people who will pursue their vices no matter what the cost is.

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  16. This bill is ahelpful if passed, however the problem comes from the 2 houses which insert and deducts and derail this bill from being passed

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  17. In the constitution , the government should protect the health of its citizen , by passing the sin tax bill many will benefit from it aside from discouraging people from this hazardous vices .

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  18. I like this sin tax bill, this could give more advantage to the people who are used to smoke and drinking liquors. Thank you for sharing this.

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  19. I must say, as a lot as I enjoyed reading what you had to say, I couldnt help but lose interest after a while. Its as if you had a wonderful grasp on the subject matter, but you forgot to include your readers. Perhaps you should think about this from far more than one angle.

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    1. Thank you for the reminder, after re-reading it again, I also see the part of the article that could not somehow relate to my readers.

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