Philippines raises tobacco, alcohol taxes
MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines on Thursday raised tobacco and alcohol taxes in a reform President Benigno Aquino hailed as helping to liberate "more Filipinos from the vices of smoking and drinking".
Mr Aquino, a smoker himself, said the "sin tax" law was a victory against the powerful tobacco lobby and would provide extra funds for better health care and facilities.
"The enemy was strong, noisy, organised and had deep pockets... but as I have always said, there is nothing that can stop Filipinos who are marching in the right direction," the president said in a speech at the signing ceremony.
Aquino spokesman Ramon Carandang said the sin taxes would raise 33 billion pesos (S$980 million) in 2013, rising gradually over the succeeding years.