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PCSO, sin taxes could be tapped to fund SDG programs

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PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL ANTONIO DE GUZMAN

A BILL creating a special fund for the implementation of programs and projects to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Ambisyon Natin 2040 has been filed in the Senate, with sweepstakes, gaming and sin taxes proposed as the sources of funding.

Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara, in Senate Bill No. 769, or the Sustainable Development Goals and Ambisyon 2040 Fund Act (SDG AN2040), proposed to earmark proceeds from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) and a portion of the alcohol and tobacco tax proceeds not earmarked for health programs.

In particular, the bill wants the fund to be financed by at least one special PCSO lotto draw per year up to 2030, 1% of PAGCOR’s net income per year and 1% of tax collected from sin taxes.

“The SDGs — as a global initiative — and AN2040 — as a fully Philippine endeavor — ought to be pursued vigorously in the years to come, with the end-view of lifting millions of Filipinos out of poverty and raising the standard of living across the country,” Mr. Angara, chair of the senate finance committee, said in the explanatory note.

“In this way, the SDG AN2040 fund, created by this measure, ought to be seen as one wholly dedicated for LGUs to implement anti-poverty, pro-prosperity projects.”

The SDG is a set of goals adopted by member states of the United Nations in 2015. It identified 17 goals that will ultimately end poverty and hunger, among other forms of deprivation, by 2030.




The 17 goals also include improving health and well-being, and education, promoting gender equality and giving access to clean water and sanitation, and affordable and clean energy.

Ambisyon 2040, meanwhile, is the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) long-term plan. The 25-year plan was approved under Executive Order No.5, signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in 2016.

Among the priority sectors of the Ambisyon 2040 are housing and urban development, manufacturing, connectivity, education and agriculture.

SDG AN2040 funding will be granted to local government units, whose proposals will be approved based on their alignment with the government’s priorities.

The bill also requires LGUs to provide 25% of the total project funding as their contribution, with the SGD AN2040 fund providing the remainder.

The fund will be administered by a Board of Trustees, which will be led by the Secretary of Interior and Local Government with representatives from NEDA, and the Health, Social Welfare, Environment, Education and Agriculture secretaries. It is to include four representatives from the private sector, appointed by the President. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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