After proposals on added tax on cigarettes hurdled Congress, the chairperson of the House of Representatives' health committee ensured that revenues the law would generate once signed would go to funds for the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law.
In an interview with DZMM, Quezon 4th District Rep. Angelina Tan said lawmakers would make sure benefits under the UHC law will be utilized, particularly the provision of free 156 dialysis sessions for each patient every year.
It can be recalled that the proposed added tax on cigarettes is tasked to fund UHC.
"Diyan po sisikapin ng DOH (Department of Health) na tulungan ang LGU na tulungan silang magtayo ng pasilidad... Actually hindi po 100 percent ang kayang ibigay. Kung wala pa po titingnan ng DOH ano ang mayroon d'yan, mayroon bang private hospital at least na most accessible sa pasyente?" Tan told Radio DZMM.
(The DOH will do its best to help local government units build facilities... Actually, it cannot give 100 percent... If there is no facility, the DOH will check what is available, for instance is there a private hospital that is at least most accessible to patients?)
Tan also said they would help the DOH build facilities in places that are far from dialysis centers.
She also called on relevant agencies to make sure the UHC law is fully implemented.
She urged them to create livelihood programs for tobacco farmers that will be affected by the increase in cigarette tax, which seeks to trim down the number of smokers in the country.
The Senate's version of the sin tax bill aims to impose up to P60 per pack in additional excise taxes on tobacco products, while the House version proposed a lower hike of P45 per pack.
It also places a P10 tax for every 10 milliliters of vaping liquid.