Palace lauds passage of sin tax bill

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 21 2012 01:12 AM | Updated as of Nov 21 2012 09:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang commended on Tuesday the senators who voted for the approval of Senate bill 3299 re-indexing the excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol products.

The Palace also commended Senator Franklin Drilon for his “unshakable” commitment in passing the sin tax bill.

“We also thank the countless advocates in government and civil society for staying the course and keeping faith in this crusade,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.

Lacierda said the bill’s approval is a “vital step forward in improving and expanding public health safety nets for all Filipinos.”

“This complements the Aquino administration’s relentless pursuit of Universal Health Care which underscores the belief that healthcare should be a right and not a privilege in our country,” his statement added.

The sin tax bill is now expected to go to the bicameral conference committee to reconcile it with the version of the House of Representatives, which was approved earlier this year.

The bill was approved in a vote of 15-2. Senators Joker Arroyo and Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero voted against the bill.