“Sin” Tax and Boosting People’s Health

Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ralph Recto are big fools for not supporting calls for a more forceful and hefty increase in the so-called sin tax!!

The sin tax isn’t just about raising more revenue for the government.

More importantly, a hefty increase in taxes on cigarettes and liquor should be seen more in terms of saving lives extinguished by proven cancer-causing cigarettes.

A huge increase in taxes on cigarettes, which should discourage people from buying costly cigarettes, will save tens of billions of pesos spent by the government for people stricken with cancer and other diseases caused by heavy smoking.

Billions in savings will clearly feed the mouths of thousands, buy more medicine for the poor, build more classrooms and expand other government services for the general public.

I’ve got relatives who died as a result of cancer and other diseases arising from heavy smoking.

Cigarettes and their carcinogenic ingredients have long been proven in the US, prompting many countries to impose steep taxes on them and explicit health warnings.

Enrile and Recto only need to look at what other Asian countries are doing.

Don’t they have enough guts and balls to discern more substantive issues, i.e. saving lives of thousands or millions and saving precious financial resources which the government can otherwise use for the poor and needed infrastructures?

Again, the sin tax should not be seen merely as a revenue measure but equally as an important tool to save lives and limited financial resources which are better used to uplift the lot of the poor in our country.

Shame on Enrile and Recto for their narrow mindedness.

(NOTE: Posted October 13 in Philippine Daily Inquirer online edition)

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