Press Release
September 26, 2019

Press Statement of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto
DOH shortchanged of P28.3 B in sin tax shares

The Department of Health and PhilHealth should not be begging for funds. They should automatically be getting what is due them from the TRAIN Law.

But for 2020, the two agencies' sin tax dividends are P28.3 billion short of what Republic Act 11346 guarantees. This results in severe budget anemia.

In language that is clear and concise, RA 11346 mandates that 50 percent of excise tax collections on sin and soda product shall be earmarked for health.

The 50 percent health share shall, in turn, "be allocated and used exclusively" in the following manner: 80 percent to the PhilHealth for Universal Health Care, and 20 percent to the DOH's Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) and medical assistance program

In 2018, total collections from alcohol was P68.8 billion; from tobacco P136.08 billion; from sugar sweetened beverages, P38 billion, or a total of P242.8 billion.

Thus, the combined DOH-PhilHealth 50 percent should be P110.9 billion, net of other deductions. Following the 80-20 sharing, P88.72 billion should go to PhilHealth, and P22.18 billion to DOH-HFEP and medical assistance.

But under the proposed 2020 national budget, PhilHealth is getting P67.3 billion, or P21.42 billion below what its share should be.

And as for the DOH, its HFEP is earmarked P5.9 billion, and its Medical Assistance Program P9.4 billion, or P6.9 billion short of what the law guarantees.

Batay sa 2020 budget, ang kabuuang utang ng DBM sa kanila mula sa sin tax collections ay P28.3 billion.

Ang batas ay pinirmahan ni Pangulong Duterte. Alam niya kaya na hindi wasto ang pagpapatupad nito?

Remember, RA 11346 was sold on the seductive promise that taxes collected from sin products will be spent for health. That higher taxes on vice will be used to fund the virtues of health care.

Government must redeem, and not renege on this promissory note. Congress is duty bound to rectify this mistake.

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