THE New Vois Association of the Philippines on Friday welcomed the report that the sin tax collections for the first nine months of 2014 exceeded the target for the full year.
NVAP president Emer Rojas said it was welcome news that the tax collections from “sin” products were more than what had been expected, and that could mean more funds to help finance the government’s health care program.
“One benefit of the Sin Tax Law is to help provide more funds for PhilHealth services and these services are intended to benefit the urban poor, Pantawid Pamilya program beneficiaries, people with disability and other marginalized sectors,” Rojas said.
“It is estimated that 2.5 million Filipino families benefited from the PhilHealth cards in 2014, which includes 250,000 PWD families.”
Last week, the Department of Finance said P91.64 billion in sin taxes were collected from January to September of last year.
The amount surpassed by 42 percent the full-year target of P64.55 billion for the entire 2014. It was also higher than the P65.46 billion collected during the same nine months of 2013.
There are four million families that are considered as the poorest of the poor, and they are enrolled in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or dole to the poor.
Rojas, who is also a sector representative at the National Anti-Poverty Commission, said having more revenues might mean that the Z-Morph packages of PhilHealth for people with disability may be enhanced further to benefit more.
“PWDs must not be left behind if the government is to provide a universal health care program,” Rojas said.
There are an estimated 1.443 million Filipinos with disability who are in need of prosthesis and wheelchairs, among other things.
Rojas said the NVAP was looking forward to seeing more senior citizens get health care assistance from the government.
Last month, President Benigno Aquino III signed RA 10645 that made it easier for citizens 60 years old and above to be covered by PhilHealth.
But while it welcomes the news of higher sin tax collections, the NVAP continued to express its partiality to a comprehensive and responsive health promotion agenda from the national government.