DOH rues 'watered-down' sin tax bill

Posted at 10/11/12 8:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Health Secretary Enrique Ona is disappointed with the latest Senate version of the sin tax bill presented by ways and means committee chairman Senator Ralph Recto.

Recto's version reduces the new tax proposal by about P40 billion.

Ona said on ANC that lawmakers must not lose sight of the implications of sin taxes on health programs and how these aim to reduce the number of smokers in the country.

He also pointed out that part of the revenue from the proposed sin tax bill will be allocated to universal health care, which will benefit the youth and the poor.

"Let's not forget basic issue of health. We want to protect the young, the poor. Number 1 is health,  number 2 is sustainability of health program. It will affect farmers but [they are] a small segment compared to our total population," Ona said.

Recto, meanwhile, said Malacañang's figures are unrealistic. - ANC