Press Release
June 4, 2019


Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, principal author of Tobacco Tax Increase, expressed his satisfaction on the approval of Senate Bill No. 2233, which was adopted by the House of Representatives under House Bill No. 8677, thereby dispensing the bicameral conference committee to reconcile the two versions.

The measure proposes a starting tax rate of P45 per pack in the first year of implementation on January 1, 2020, and will subsequently increase in the next four years. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that raising the tobacco tax to P45 per pack would prevent smoke-related deaths of over 300,000 people.

"As the principal author of the Tobacco Tax Increase, I am overjoyed that our efforts have finally paid off. I am confident that this measure will curb the population of smokers and eradicate, if not reduce, its harmful impact on the health of our citizenry," the anti-smoking and health advocate Senator stated.

Other than its laudable health benefits, the measure, when approved, is set to generate additional revenues that will fund the implementation of Republic Act No. 11223, otherwise known as the "Universal Health Care Act of 2019." A revenue of P15 billion is expected the year following its implementation and P140 billion until 2023.

"A big hurdle for the implementation of the UHC is how it will be funded. This measure will be the remedy of the said problem. Again, I made a commitment to fight for the welfare of the Filipino people. I seek for the better health of our countrymen. My call to the Filipinos is clear: do not destroy yourself through smoking," Pacquiao stated.

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