Senator Sonny Angara on Monday endorsed to the Senate plenary a bill increasing the excise tax on tobacco products in a bid to reduce smoking prevalence among Filipinos and raise crucial funding for the government’s Universal Health Care (UHC) program.
This developed as the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, which Angara chairs, adopted a committee report on the consolidated measure that will raise the excise tax for every cigarette pack from P35 to P60 for the next four years.
Amid rising population of Filipino senior citizens and scarcity of specialists to treat them, reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara is urging medical students to pursue geriatric medicine, a specialty that focuses on the health care of elderly people.
The number of Filipinos at or over age 60 almost doubled to 8 million from 4.6 million between 2000 and 2018, according to government data. But despite this staggering number, there are only over a hundred doctors who specialize in treating senior citizens.
With the construction of the first railway in Mindanao finally happening this year, reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara reiterated his proposal to create the state-owned Mindanao Railways Corp. that would oversee the efficient operation and maintenance of the future train system in the country’s second largest island.
Angara said the proposed “MindaRail” would serve as an instrumentality of the government in providing a railway system that would potentially bring peace, economic development and poverty reduction in Mindanao.
Reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara urged the government and the private sector to work together in restoring centuries-old churches in Pampanga that were damaged by the magnitude 6.1 earthquake, saying these structures are considered “national treasures” that must be preserved for future generations.