on the evening of Nov. 20, 2012, the Philippine senate voted on a Sin Tax
measure for the sale of Tobacco and Alcohol products (Senate Bill 3299). The
passing of this bill is undoubtedly a milestone in the public health efforts of
the Philippines to reduce the number of existing smokers, as well as deterring
young smokers from starting. At the same time, the revenues generated from the
taxes will be used to progress two objectives of the Aquino Agenda: the
enrollment of families into Phil Health and the much needed improvement of our
country's health facilities.
Tobacco is mainly responsible for the cause of
lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women.
Smoking also causes cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, low birth
weight in infants, and a number of other unhealthy conditions.
is public health's biggest enemy and therefore; reducing prevalence of smoking
and preventing its onset is within our mandate. As future health care
providers, we must not forget that we are also the guardians of the future of
our country's public health.
With the passing of the Sin Tax bill, progress
has been made, but we must always remember to remain vigilant, for the battle
against the powerful tobacco industry is often uncertain.