GLOBAL ONE NEWS (G1) — As part of its battle against health problems, the Philippines government would like to increase alcohol taxes.

On Oct. 2, the House of Representatives approved the creation of a technical working group to increase and restructure tax rates.

According to reports, the proposed bills will implement a 25% tax on alcohol products — 5% higher than the current tax rate.

Health officials, medical practitioners and health advocates support the proposal.

A health department official said, “Increasing the excise tax is the best buy and a win-win intervention for reducing alcohol consumption” and increasing health revenue.

However, one lawmaker has questioned the effectiveness of the proposed tax hike.

At the deliberation, Lianda Bolilia showed how high tax rates did not necessarily lower Filipinos’ drinking rates.

Representatives from the alcohol industry called the tax regressive.

According to one health advocate, alcohol consumption is the seventh leading cause of preventable deaths in the world.