In his speech, the President said that the new law was an early Christmas gift for the Filipinos as its revenues will be used to expand the government’s healthcare program and will be spent for tobacco farmers’ livelihood.
“Sa araw pong ito, nilagdaan natin, sa wakas—ulitin ko lang po, sa wakas—ang isang batas na magsisilbing maagang Pamasko sa milyun-milyong Pilipino—mga Pilipinong masasaklaw sa abot-kamay nang Universal Health Care program; mga Pilipinong makikinabang sa mga bagong klinika at ospital na mapopondohan at maipapatayo; mga Pilipinong maililihis sa bisyo ng paninigarilyo at labis na pag-inom
[Today we sign, finally, a law that will serve as early Christmas gift to millions of Filipinos who will be covered by the Universal Health Care program, who will benefit from the new public clinics and hospitals that will be built and who will be weaned out from smoking and drinking],” he said.
The President added that Republic Act 10351, which raises taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, is the only tax reform on alcohol and tobacco products that favors both the government and the Filipino people.
“Hangad nating gawing abot-kamay para sa lahat ang benepisyong pangkalusugan, mayaman man o mahirap, sagrado po kasi ang buhay ng Pilipino [The We aim to make health benefits available for all, regardless of wealth, the life of Filipinos is sacred],” the President said.
The President also assured tobacco farmers that they have nothing to fear from the new law since it will provide additional funding for farmers’ livelihood support program.
“Hangad din nating gawing patas ang laban sa industriya ng tabako. Hindi makatarungan po na iba-iba ang buwis ng mga produktong pare-pareho [We aim to provide a level of playing field for industry players. It is not fair that different...