Funding healthcare shortfall

A proposed increase in taxes on alcohol, heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes in the Philippines will raise close to PHP370 billion ($7.17 billion)—enough to cover the funding gap for healthcare services, reports The Philippine Star, citing Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua

Chua said a bill in Congress seeks to increase the current uniform tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products from PHP35 per pack of 20 to PHP45 per pack for 2020, PHP50 in 2021, PHP55 in 2022, PHP60 in 2023, and 5 percent indexation every year thereafter.

Meanwhile, Congress plans to impose a tax of PHP10 per pack of 20 of heated tobacco products in 2020 and five percent indexation onwards.

For e-cigarettes, lawmakers want to impose a tax ranging from HPP10 for every 10 milliliters to PHP50 for 50 milliliters plus PHP10 for every additional 10 milliliters.

Chua said the finance department is pushing for a uniform rate for heated tobacco products with that of cigarettes.