THE Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines (FCAP) lamented Monday the position taken by the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in opposing the bill that aims to increase the taxes for alcohol and tobacco products.
In a phone interview, FCAP Executive Director Dr. Maricar Limpin said it is unfortunate that there are legislators who would want to side with the tobacco industry at the expense of the lives of the public.
“Their vote is between saving the lives of the young and the poor or saving the profits of tobacco companies,” said Limpin.
She said anti-smoking advocates are one in believing that the matter, since it involves public health, should go beyond party lines.
“Regardless of the party affiliation, we believe the legislators’ vote on the bill should reflect their sincere love for their constituents,” said Limpin.
Reports came out Monday quoting the NPC leadership as opposing the passage of the House Bill 5727, or the sin tax reform bill.
According to business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco’s camp, it would be wrong to pass the bill as the government has no concrete plans for the farmers and distillery workers, who will be displaced because of the move.
The NPC has 30 members currently occupying seats in the House of Representatives.
Health officials already avowed that increasing the price of tobacco and alcohol products would help dissuade the poor and the youth in purchasing them.
The Department of Health also noted how the said bill would help in raking in revenues that will be significant in the treatment of those suffering from smoking and alcohol-related illnesses.