To increase alcohol tax to provide fund for UHC law: Senator Pacquiao

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To Increase Alcohol Tax for UHC
(Photo credit from Department of Finance)

Excise tax for alcohol beverages will increase to raise an additional revenue of P237 billion over a five-year period sustainable fund for Universal Health Care, according to Senator Pacquiao. This is also aim to help reduce excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks or binge drinking that is linked to vehicular crash accidents, domestic abuse and other crimes.

Moreover the report from Department of Finance stated that Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said that the proposed hike in cigarette taxes, increasing the excise tax levied on alcohol products will help close the P40 billion funding gap in the universal health care (UHC) program.

Pacquiao’s Senate Bill (SB) No. 2197 will raise around P32.3 billion in the first year of its implementation in 2019, P40 billion in 2020, P47.4 billion in 2021, P54.6 billion in 2022 and P62.4 billion in 2023, for a total of P236.6 billion, Chua said.

Significantly,  higher alcohol excise taxes would help curb binge drinking, which often leads to vehicular accidents and the commission of crimes, according to Health Undersecretary Rolando Domingo.

Further, Pacquiao imparted that World Health Organization found out that alcohol as being “responsible for 1 in 20 deaths.” He also added that “more than 200 health conditions, numerous cases of sexual and drug abuse, suicide, violence, and accidents are linked to alcohol intoxication.”

Recently, Universal Health Care law was signed by President Duterte. However, for sustainability, the law entails continuous fund.

Apart from alcoholic beverages, tobacco tax are deemed to be included to generate more funds.

Senator noted that these efforts will benefit the entire citizens.  Respectively, ” Pacquiao’s bill also seeks to further hike the tax rates by 10 percent annually to account for inflation and income”.

Source: Alcohol tax hike to raise P237-B in revenues over 5-year period

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