Sin tax bill online
MANILA, Philippines - Interested in the sin tax bill? Now you can follow developments online.
Pro sin tax groups unveiled on Thursday, November 15 www.bawasbisyobill.com, a new website to campaign for the passage of the law and that will monitor on Monday how the senators vote on the bill, certified as "priority" by President Benigno Aquino III.
Civil society groups led by the non-government Action for Economic Reforms (AER) are behind the initiative, which includes a Senate Watch section that classifies senators on where they stand on the sin tax bill.
Several medical organizations gathered at the Philippine General Hospital last week to call on the Senate to stop delaying sin tax reform.
“The sin tax reform is about preventing deaths and saving lives. It will prevent 70,000 deaths a year and pay for healthcare of 30 million of our poorest,” the groups said in a statement.
The collective - including organizations such as the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, the Philippine Medical Association or the Philippine College of Physicians - explained that the website intends to educate the public on how senators decide on crucial issues like this law.
“When we exercise our right to vote, we will remember those politicians who promoted deadly products, defended the interests of the companies, and allowed our fellow Filipinos to die,” the groups added.
The bill gives Congress the opportunity to save 50,000 lives a year, said in the statement Dr. Antonio Dans from the UP College of Medicine: “We cannot call ourselves a civilized society if we leave people to die because they are unable to pay for healthcare.”
Senators Pia Cayetano and Franklin Drilon attended the launch and Drilon noted he will continue to push for the passage of the measure because “it is a good fight.”
“Let me assure everyone that I will resist any effort to reduce the taxes on cigarettes,” he said. - Rappler.com