MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang is hopeful that the Senate will pass the sin tax reform bill.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the bill should be considered as a health measure, pointing out that the revenues from sin taxes would be used to fund universal health care.
"We experienced some difficulties in the House. There is, as you know, a tobacco lobby. We are hopeful that the Senate will consider this issue as a health issue for the betterment of the entire population," Lacierda said.
Lacierda said that diseases caused by smoking costs the economy by P177 billion a year.
The Palace expects P33 billion a year in revenues with the passage of the measure.