The City Health Office (CHO) is backing the alcohol tax hike bill in the House of Representatives, believing it will lessen liquor dependence by many residents of Puerto Princesa.

City Health Office (CHO) chief Dr. Ricardo Panganiban said the Committee on Ways and Means’ approval of House Bill No. 1026 is a positive development to Puerto Princesa’s health goals.

Under the bill, distilled spirits, fermented liquors, and wines will be given an ad valorem tax, which will be on top of the current specific tax, depending on the volume per category of the alcoholic beverage.

The seven percent specific tax, according to bill, will increase annually starting 2020 for wines and 2023 for distilled spirits and fermented liquors.

“Personally, para sa akin ay ayos lang ‘yon na itaas ang taxes para mabawasan ang consumers kasi kung mahal na ‘yan, ang iba ay pipiliin na lang na hindi uminom kaysa bumili ng mahal. Hindi naman sa ayaw natin sa umiinom pero mas mababawasan ang consumers kapag ganoon,” Panganiban said.

He also said that with less people consuming liquors because it will be expensive, the frequency of road accidents happening due to drunk drivers will also decrease.

Panganiban added the increase in alcohol tax will help too, since some funds will go to the Universal Health Care (UHC).

“Kung hindi naman ako nagkakamali ang taxes naman na ipapataw ay mapupunta sa Universal Health Care kaya mas maganda ‘yon. Isa pa, mababawasan din ang mga sakit dahil sa sobrang intake ng alak. Sa tingin ko mas mababawasan din ang mga road accidents kung konti na lang din ang magco-consume ng alcohol,” he said.

A recent survey by the Food Nutrition and Research Institute’s Clinical and Health (FNRICH) cited by the Department of Health (DOH) claimed that more than half of Filipinos aged 20 to 59 are engaged in the harmful consumption of alcohol through binge drinking in one sitting.

The same survey also showed that the youth are also at risk for adversarial health effects of alcohol consumption, especially those aged between 10 to 19.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.