Sec Carandang on the Senate Hearings on the Sin Tax Bill:
The Senate began committee hearings today on the bill rationalizing excise taxes on liquor and tobacco products. If passed, this bill could raise revenues of over 31 billion pesos in its first year of implementation. These funds would go to expanding basic health care, particularly for poor Filipinos. There are 17.3 million smokers in the Philippines. Many of them are from lower income classes, and cannot afford proper medical treatment when they develop illnesses from smoking.
For these reasons, we hope the Senate sees the wisdom of passing the sin tax bill. After all, this bill is, first and foremost, a health measure. In particular, we commend Senator Franklin Drilon for his support.