MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is now seeking a higher sin tax on junk food in an effort to reduce the obesity rate and generate revenue for the country’s Universal Health Care program.
DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said at a press briefing that obesity remains a public health concern in the country, citing that the sin tax is part of their strategies to regulate and control different lifestyle risk factors.
Citing the latest survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, around 27 million Filipinos are overweight or obese as of March 2022.
“For the past 2 decades, overweight and obesity among adults has almost doubled from 20.2 percent in 1998 to 36.6 percent in 2019.”Department of health
“Similarly, the prevalence rates of overweight and obesity among adolescents have more than doubled from 4.9 percent in 2003 to 11.6 percent in 2018,” it added.
Vergeire revealed that around 59 percent of the Department of Health’s budget, or 155 billion pesos, comes from sin taxes for this year.
“Ganito po ‘yung gusto nating makita in the coming years. That these sin taxes can fund the different interventions that we do to provide universal health care for everybody,” she said.