Duterte slams smokers: 'They should be exterminated'

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 22 2019 07:19 PM

President Duterte gives his 4th State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives on July 22, 2019. Screengrab RTVM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte slammed cigarette smokers, as he called on Congress to further raise the tax on tobacco and alcohol because of its negative effects on health.

“Sinong naninigarilyo dito (Who is a smoker here)? They should be exterminated from the face of the earth," he said in his 4th State of the Nation Address. 

“I am also asking Congress to pass the remaining packages of my administration’s tax reform program,” Duterte said, referring to excise tax on tobacco and alcohol.

Similar to his 2017 SONA, Duterte mentioned that he now has Buerger’s disease, an illness that causes pain in the limbs, hands and feet, because he was a smoker.

He reiterated that there is a national policy on smoking, recalling how he successfully banned smoking in public places in Davao City.

He also talked about how establishments selling alcohol, as well as those with jukeboxes, have curfews in Davao.

“I have prohibited it in Davao. And at 12 (midnight), as you see, Davao is quiet. Because everybody is resting already,” he said.

Earlier this year, Duterte approved the Department of Health and the Department of Finance’s proposal to raise the excise tax on tobacco and alcohol products.

Recently, the Senate approved on third and final reading a bill hiking the tobacco excise tax.

Under the current Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law (TRAIN), excise tax for tobacco is at P35. It will be raised to P40 by 2020. By 2024, the rate will increase by 4 percent annually.