MANILA – President Benigno Aquino III has certified the sin tax reform bill as urgent, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, said, adding that this will hasten the deliberation on it at the Senate.
Valte said that under the Constitution, the President may certify bills as urgent in the case of a public necessity; and, in the time of a public calamity.
She said the government needs P77 billion to implement the universal health care and what the government proposed in the 2013 national budget was only P54 billion.
So there will be a gap of P23 billion, which will be used in the construction of additional rural health centers all over the country and the repair of existing ones, she said.
Part of the fund will also be used to pay the premiums for PhilHealth of more Filipinos in the poorest areas.
Meanwhile, visiting International Monetary Fund chief, Christine Lagarde, said that if the proposed sin tax measure is passed by the Senate on Monday, it will mean great progress for the revenue collection of the Philippines.
"The criteria for good taxation are, number one, a very broad base; number two, a very small rate. This is a general principle, of course. What matters, of course, is the possibility to raise revenue in as transparent a way as possible with as much distributive effect as is possible as well,” Lagarde was quoted as saying.*PNA