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What Is Sin Tax Bill?

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A sin tax is a kind of sumptuary tax: a tax specifically levied on certain generally socially proscribed goods and services, for example alcohol, tobacco and gambling. Sumptuary taxes are ostensibly used for reducing transactions involving something that society considers undesirable, and is thus a kind of sumptuary law. Sin tax is used for taxes on activities that are considered socially undesirable. Common targets of sumptuary taxes are alcohol and tobacco, gambling, and vehicles emitting excessive pollutants. Sumptuary tax on sugar and soft drinks has also been suggested. Some jurisdictions have also levied taxes on illegal drugs such as cocaine and marijuana.

The revenue generated by sin taxes is sometimes used for special projects, but might also be used in the ordinary budget. American cities and countries have used them to pay for stadiums, while in Sweden the tax for gambling is used for helping people with gambling problems. Acceptance of sumptuary taxes may be greater than income tax or sales tax. House Bill 5727, or the Sin Tax Bill, aims to restructure the existing taxes imposed on alcohol and tobacco goods. Duties on these products are a potential revenue source that will help fund the Universal Health Care Program of the administration.

Likewise, higher taxes—and consequently higher costs—are seen as a deterrent to the consumption of “sin” products, whose adverse effects are mostly borne by the poorer segments of society. I think the sin tax bill promotes a healthy lifestyle to the whole nation. It encompasses the troublesome and longevity of the trend of early age youth alcoholic drinking and smoking irresponsibly. It also concerns those who are old enough but abuse the use of the said vices. It yearns for a decrease in demand of cigarettes and alcoholic drinks by increasing the added tax to their respective suggested retail price. But people are born hardheaded, when it comes to this kind of things “taas presyo”, they don’t care as long as they meet their needs.

So sufficing to say, the sin tax bill ALONE can’t promote strongly a healthy living nation. Even the impoverished people don’t care; they still buy cigarettes and alcoholic drinks after the bill was signed. Yes, it will show results in the decrease of demands, but I bet you 1 rim of cigarettes that it will not make a dent in the economic buying patterns in the Philippines. One way we could positively look forward to that there will be still many buying cigarettes and alcohol no matter what. And with the increased tax added, the government might take it as an advantage to use the funds from the sales to improve the nation itself. Whether may it be in the economic growth in global stage, tourism and hospitality improvements, roads, technology, job openings and many other factors that could change the Philippines’ status into a more successful country ( Chio,J. 2013).

Herbosa (2012) said that sin tax bill is not just a sin tax it is an anti-cancer tax. He is asking our good senators to put the health of our people as the primary concern in approving this tax measure. It is just right and responsible to tax the tobacco industry considering the billions of pesos that our healthcare is forced to carry because of the disease burden from smoking. Approving the sin tax bill will lead to an increase in the prices of tobacco, which will discourage the youth from smoking and reduce cigarette consumption among established smokers. Lung cancer is the leading form of cancer in the Philippines and this is attributed to high smoking rates, particularly among men.

Cigarette products contain 7,000 chemicals with every cigarette stick having 70 cancer-causing ingredients. About half of all men in the Philippines are currently smoking. It will not be surprising to see an epidemic of lung cancer among our productive members in the workforce within the next 10 to 15 years. This will leave many children orphaned early and will have a negative effect on our economic development. This will also cost the Philippines billions of pesos for health care, chemotherapy and palliative care.

A major lung cancer epidemic could deplete our resources for universal health care. So we need to focus on prevention. He also noted that smoking also increased the risks of cancer of the larynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, the colon and anus. DOH data show that a 10-percent increase in tobacco taxes would reduce by 2 million the number of smokers by 2016. Raising the sin tax is also expected to reduce by 20 percent the number of yearly deaths due to smoking-related diseases.

World Health Organization (2013) explained that the Philippines now stands as having the biggest number of smokers in Southeast Asia at 17.3 million. An average Filipino smoker puffs 1,073 cigarette sticks every year, while the rest of smokers in the region consume less than a thousand sticks. The World Health Organization estimates that one in every four types of cancer is related to tobacco smoking. It is responsible for 71 percent of lung cancer deaths in the world. The Philippines now stands as having the biggest number of smokers in Southeast Asia at 17.3 million. An average Filipino smoker puffs 1,073 cigarette sticks every year, while the rest of smokers in the region consume less than a thousand sticks.

The DOH expected more Filipinos to be stricken with cancer in the next few years. A 2008 study showed that 11 percent of all deaths in the country were attributed to cancer. Other causes of deaths were heart attack, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is also due to tobacco consumption. Lintongan (2013) stated that smoking could kill people in so many ways. The chemical content of a stick of cigarette may cause trouble not only to the smokers themselves but also to the people around them. The leading cause of deaths in the Philippines is linked with cigarette smoking.

An estimated 10 Filipinos die every hour due to smoking-related diseases. Most types of cancer are also related to smoking such as lung cancer, which is the leading form of cancer in the Philippines. Poorer people smoke more and unfortunately they are also the most vulnerable to such diseases because of the lack of access to adequate health care. In the support for the passage of the Sin Tax Bill, DOH-CHD XII held a press conference on November 27, 2012 at Sun City Suits, General Santos City.

Among the panelists were City Health Officer of General Santos City Dr. Edgardo Sandig, PIA XII Regional Director Olivia T. Sudaria, DOH-CHD XII NCD Coordinator Dr. Leonora A. Lozana, Division Chief-TIDS of Department of Trade and Industry Ms. Mary Ann M. Morales and DOH-CHD XII Regional Director Dr. Marlyn W. Convocar. The effects of cigarette smoking was brought out, convincing the media that if cigarettes are to be sold inexpensively, the poor and the youth could afford it and eventually could lead them to their last breath. Sin Tax Bill is like hitting two birds with one stone.

Because of its higher price, consumers are discouraged to buy these sin products, cigarettes and liquors, which could lead to a decrease in number of smoking-related diseases while significantly generating revenue to Universal Health Care or the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan. The Sin Tax is, first of all, an Anti-Cancer Tax with the long-term goal of improving the health of the whole population. As the Senate approved the Sin Tax bill, the Department of Health felt victorious in the campaign against the ill effects of excessive smoking.

Reference List

Chio,J. (13 January 2013).Sin Tax Bill in Philippines.
http://judychio.blogspot.com/2013/01/sin-tax-bill-in-philippines.html Alave,K. (28 August 2012).Not just a sin tax, it’s also an anticancer tax. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/259038/not-just-a-sin-tax-its-also-an-anticancer-tax-doh

Sin Tax. Anti Essays. Retrieved February 28, 2013, from the World Wide Web: http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/307917.html

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