Sen. Marcos bats for health insurance for barangay officials; says ‘sin’ tax take should fund the coverage

Bersyon sa Filipino.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. said the government should start giving health insurance to barangay officials as the fund for the benefit is already available.

Marcos said the financial requirement for the health insurance can be taken from the huge “sin” tax collections since one of the purposes of Republic Act (RA) No. 10351 or the Sin Tax Reform Act of 2012 that took effect on January 1, 2013 is to bankroll the government’s universal health program.

The health insurance entitlement of barangay officials is mandated under Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991.

“Since the enactment of the Local Government Code, not a single barangay official has been covered by a health insurance. The Philhealth said it has no money. But that was before,” Marcos asserted.

He said with the Sin Tax Reform Law that increases the levy on tobacco and alcohol products, or the so called “sin” products, the government is now financially capable of providing the insurance.

Reports quoting the latest data from the Bureau of Internal Revenue said in the first ten months of 2015 alone, the excise tax collected from “sin” products reached P105.5 billion. For the same period in 2014, the collection was P86.5 billion.

“The government cannot argue anymore that there is no fund. There is funding and what the government should do is to allocate from the huge “sin” tax take for health insurance. It’s in the law that barangay officials be given this benefit and it should be followed,” Marcos concluded.

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