Lawmaker calls for congressional inquiry into proceeds of ‘sin tax’

By , on November 30, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has called on his fellow-congressmen to launch an inquiry into the alleged inability of the administration to set aside a sizeable chunk of the income generated from the Sin Tax Law to fund the universal health care program.

House Resolution 1591 authored by Rodriguez calls for a congressional inquiry, by which officials of the Department of Finance (DOF), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) andDepartment of Budget and Management (DBM) will be mandated to clarify the matter.

“After its enactment two years ago, many Filipinos are still not covered by the universal health care program of the government and many cities and provinces are still without public clinics and hospitals,” Rodriguez said.

He pointed out that Republic Act 10351 or the Sin Tax law – which was set into motion on Dec. 18, 2012 – was supposed to generate added revenue of up to P34 billion; with the purpose, in part, of financing the government’s universal health care program.

“The law was enacted to cover millions of Filipinos in the government universal health care program and the promise that the government will construct public clinics and hospitals throughout the country,” he said.

“It is incumbent upon the DBM and DOF to report to the House of Representatives and provide information on whether the goals of the law were met and where the money was utilized,” he added.