Health sector unveils ‘Bawas Bisyo Bill’ website to fast track Sin Tax passage
TWENTY medical organizations on Thursday launched a campaign website called “Bawas Bisyo Bill, to fast track the passage and spread awareness Sin Tax measure.
“The sin tax reform is about preventing deaths and saving lives. It will prevent 70,000 deaths a year and pay for healthcare of 30 million of our poorest sector,” Dr. Antonio Dans said during the launching as he encourages all to use the social media to campaign for it passage.
Also include a section at the website, http://bawasbisyobill.com, entitled “Senate Watch” classified senators on where they stand on the measure. The website was launched during a forum entitled Health community unite to fight for Filipino lives at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) in Manila.
Aside from campaign website, students, faculties and the general public who attended the forum to campaign in their own social media accounts such as Twitters and Facebook, to campaign and encourage lawmakers to immediately pass the measure.
“Vested interests have rallied against the bill in the halls of the Senate, and those who have sworn to defend us have forgotten their obligation to protect the health of 90 million Filipinos, including tobacco farmers and workers,” Economic Reform Forum flyers said distributed in the forum.
The statement continued, “When we exercise our right to vote, we will remember those politicians who promoted deadly products, defended the interests of the companies, and allowed our fellow Filipinos to die.”
“The more they delay its passage, the more lives are lost,” Dr. Antonio Dans from UP College of Medicine, said.
He also echoed his colleagues’ sentiments on the bill’s urgency, saying, “We will never have another opportunity to save 50,000 lives in one felt swoop by passing the sin tax bill.”
“The mark of civilized society is the ability to pay for healthcare regardless of the ability to pay of individuals,” declared Dans. “We cannot call ourselves a civilized society if we leave people to die because they are unable to pay for healthcare.”
“We understand that they are protecting their constituents from Batangas, Ilocos and other tobacco-producing regions. But aren’t we their constituents, too? What about the
smokers who suffer from these diseases? Aren’t they constituents as well?” he lamented.
Present during the launching were Senator Franklin Drilon, the sponsor of the bill and acting chairman of the Senate committee on ways and means, and Senator Pia Cayetano, chairman of the Senate committee on health and demography.
The medical associations that backed the sin tax bill included: UP Manila, UP PGH, UP College of Medicine, Philippine Medical Association, Philippine College of Physicians, Philippine College of Chest Physicians, Philippine Heart Association, Philippine Society of Hypertension, Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Philippine Society of General Internal Medicine, Philippine Society of Head and Neck Surgery, Philippine Neurological Association, Philippine Obstetrics and Gynecology, Philippine Pediatric Society, Philippine Lipid and Atherosclerosis Society, Philippine Society of Gastroenterology, Philippine Society of Oncology, Stroke Society of the Philippines, Academy of Physicians, Philippine Society of Clinical & Occupational Therapy, Philippine Society of Hematology & Blood Transfusion, and the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges Foundation, Inc.