There would be fewer wives crying of physical abuse by their drunken husbands and fewer Filipinos dying from booze with higher alcohol taxes, they said.
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Fewer abused wives, deaths with higher alcohol taxes — lawmakers
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - August 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Proponents of the proposed increases in levies on beer and other intoxicating drinks are citing the evils of alcohol use to make their case and win support for their proposal from their colleagues in Congress and the public.

There would be fewer wives crying of physical abuse by their drunken husbands and fewer Filipinos dying from booze with higher alcohol taxes, they said.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda told reporters on Thursday that “more Filipinos are dying from alcohol than from tobacco.”

“Those aged 45 to 65, who are in their prime earning capacity, are most at risk,” he added.

Among the young (20 years to 29 years of age), he claimed that four out of five deaths are from alcohol consumption and only one from smoking.

Salceda and Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua, the administration’s poster boy for tax reform, gave journalists a briefing on the bill on higher liquor taxes and another proposed law reducing corporate income tax.

The bill is intended to discourage drinking and at the same time raise money for the government’s expanded health care program, which aims to provide all Filipinos with PhilHealth insurance coverage.

A document handed out by Salceda and Chua shows that based on a study by the Department of Health, at least 30,579 Filipinos are expected to die “from harmful use of alcohol in year 1” if taxes were not increased. Year 1 refers to 2020, when the government plans to start collecting the proposed higher rates.

The same document showed that 15,098 Filipinos could be saved from death from alcohol abuse if higher rates were imposed.

Chua did not have figures on deaths for previous years but he estimates that this year’s fatalities from intoxicating drinks could be in the neighborhood of 29,000.

The figure on the number of Filipinos who could be saved with higher taxes is based on the version of the alcohol levy bill of the DOF, which is seeking a significantly larger increase than what the Salceda panel and the House of Representatives approved on Tuesday.

For instance, in the case of beer, the DOF is proposing a tax of P40 per liter while congressmen approved only P28, or a difference of P12. The DOF is projecting a revenue gain of P33.3 billion for next year and P249 billion up to 2024, versus the P15.6 billion and P110.3 billion total of the House.

ALCOHOL DOMESTIC ABUSE TAXES
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