President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a bill hiking tobacco excise taxes to raise more revenues for healthcare.

“To address the urgent need to protect the right to health of the Filipino people and to maintain a broader fiscal space to support the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act, the President has signed into law HB (House Bill) No. 8677/ SB (Senate Bill) No. 2233 Increasing the Excise Tax on Tobacco Products,” Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea told reporters in a text message.

The new law hikes the tobacco excise tax to P45 per pack from P35, effective January 2020. The rate will go up to P60 per pack in 2023, and 5 percent every year beginning 2024. (