MANILA, Philippines – The fight against tobacco continues as the world celebrates World No Tobacco Day on Saturday, May 31.
Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year, with more than 5 million as a result of direct tobacco use. In the Philippines, 240 Filipinos die every day because of major tobacco-related diseases. That’s 87,600 premature deaths per year.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that if all countries increased tobacco taxes by 50%, there would be 49 million fewer smokers within the next 3 years.
The good news is that the Philippines is among 92 countries in the world that have implemented at least one effective tobacco control measure at the highest level.
The historic sin tax law was intended to increase the excise tax imposed on tobacco and alcohol products for a double purpose: increase government revenue and discourage smokers with high prices.
The Department of Finance reports incremental taxes worth P42.1 billion (or around $962.7 million), while the Bureau of Internal Revenue collected P70.4 billion (or $1.6 billion) in excise tax collections – both from tobacco products alone. (READ: A year of sin tax: More work ahead)
– with reports from Mara Cepeda/Rappler.com