cdn mobile

Health group calls for 6.5% annual alcohol price hike to cut consumption

By: Luisa Cabato - @inquirerdotnet July 10,2024 - 06:00 AM

alcoholMANILA, Philippines — A coalition of health advocates and civil society organizations on Tuesday called for a 6.5% annual increase in the price of alcoholic beverages. This measure aims to curb consumption among Filipinos, particularly the youth.

This move, the Six Tax Coalition said in a press conference, would benefit both public health and the country’s economy.

READ: Pandemic habits? DOH survey shows 40% of Filipinos drink alcohol, 15% smoke tobacco

“Ang target ay mabawasan ‘yung pag-consume [ng alcohol]. Ang most effective way ay taasan ‘yung presyo kasi ‘di ba kung ikaw, bibili ka ng alak, hindi mo naman iniisip ‘yung tax, ang iniisip mo lang ay ‘yung presyong nasa bote,” AJ Montesa, fiscal policy team leader for Action for Economic Reforms, told reporters.

(The goal is to reduce alcohol consumption. The most effective way to do that is to increase the price because when you buy alcohol, you don’t think about the tax; you only think about the price of the bottle.)

Based on the data presented by the coalition, 67 percent of Filipinos support raising excise taxes on alcoholic products.

This was based on a nationwide survey conducted by Vital Strategies, an international public health organization working in more than 80 countries, with 1,000 respondents, and local research firm WR Numero, which surveyed 1,765 respondents in 2024.

A looming problem

Meanwhile, a Global Burden of Disease study in 2021 showed that “high alcohol use” was the third leading behavioral risk factor in the Philippines that year.

The same study revealed that Filipinos aged 20 to 24 had the highest consumption of alcoholic beverages, followed by those aged 15 to 19.

“We would need to increase the price by around 6.5 percent per year. It’s not a one-time increase. At the same time, we would need that price increase to actually double the tax, meaning the tax would be around 13 percent,” Montesa said.

Goal to reduce alcohol consumption

The goal to impose a 6.5 percent yearly increase in the price of alcoholic beverages aligns with the World Health Organization’s target of at least a 20 percent reduction in the harmful use of alcohol by 2030, according to Montesa.

This goal includes indicators such as total alcohol per capita consumption, prevalence of heavy episodic drinking or binge drinking, alcohol-attributed deaths, and alcohol-attributed disability-adjusted life years.

Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Ray Florence Reyes, one of the key speakers at the event, said he plans to submit a bill proposing an increase in excise tax for alcoholic beverages.

“Mag ta-translate ‘yan to better tax revenues din para sa gobyerno, para sa ating year marking for universal healthcare, for law enforcement, para sa anti-drunk driving, and ‘yung pag prohibit sa sale sa minors,” he said.

(That will also translate to better tax revenues for the government, for our earmarking for universal healthcare, for law enforcement, for anti-drunk driving, and for prohibiting sales to minors.)

“Bababa ‘yung economy ‘pag hindi na-address to, kasi 20 to 25 eh nasa productive stages of their lives pa,” he said, referring to potential alcohol-related death among said age bracket.

(The economy will decline if this isn’t addressed because those aged 20 to 25 are still in the productive stages of their lives.)

The bill, if signed into law, would support the implementation of universal healthcare if the excise tax is earmarked for health services.

“Imagine ‘yung scenario na sobrang optimize natin ‘yung sin taxes; hindi na natin kailangan magbayad ng premium kasi sapat na ‘yung nako-collect natin. Definitely, that is a welcomed proposal from the Congress,” Reyes said.

(Imagine a scenario where we optimize sin taxes so well that we no longer need to pay premiums because our collections are sufficient. That would definitely be a welcomed proposal from Congress.)

READ:  Cebu City dad warns establishments selling liquor to minors

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: alcoholic drinks, price increase

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.