Last Jan. 18, leaders of 30 Philippine medical societies gathered to call for the Senate passage of a bill increasing the excise tax on cigarettes to at least P60 per pack. “The increase will provide crucial funding for the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act that will benefit the current and future generations of all Filipinos from womb to tomb,” went their manifesto.
The Universal Health Care (UHC) bill is at its final stages. After a couple of preparatory meetings during the Congress break last October, the Bicameral Conference Committee is officially meeting tomorrow to reconcile the differences of the Senate and the House versions. At this rate, we can expect that the UHC bill will be signed into law before the year ends.