Gordon to impose higher taxes on tobacco
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Bagumbayan standard-bearer Richard Gordon would impose higher taxes on tobacco and sees nothing wrong with government giving out condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS.
Speaking to doctors at the presidential forum on health at the Medical City hospital in Pasig Monday, Gordon said he will spend money to prevent HIV but not to control population.
“That is the responsibility of the parents. I am preaching about the quality of population,” he said.
“Population becomes an opportunity to develop our country.”
Gordon asked the doctors whether they would spend money on contraceptives or education.
“We should strengthen our education advocacy ….. But I’m not for abortion,” he said.
China, Brazil and India have managed to develop quality manpower resources from their large population, he added.
Gordon said if elected president, he intends to give the health sector the needed funds from tax on text messaging and increased taxes on tobacco products.
“We would tax tobacco as high as I can,” he said.
“It is being done in other countries as a source of money. You want to smoke but we will not pay for it when you get sick.
“Cigarette smoking is just one facet of our problems.”
Gordon said he does not get any financial support from cigarette companies for his campaign.
Gordon said the collected funds from text messaging and cigarettes will be used to improve the standards of government hospitals and clinics and to pay government doctors salaries of P50,000 a month, and as much as P70,000 a month for surgeons.
He will also give community health workers P3,000 every month in allowances, he added.
By raising the salaries of government doctors, he could stop them from going abroad to work as nurses, he said.
Gordon said he intends to make young doctors serve in the countryside for at least three years before they are permitted to leave for jobs abroad.
“Dapat maglagay ng doktor sa probinsya (Doctors should be placed in the provinces) and then pay them well,” he said.
“Every graduate of medicine in the country should be drafted to serve in the country.
“Dapat magsilbi muna ng three years sa bansa (Three years of service) before they leave the country. People should be able to serve their country.”
On the other hand, Lakas-Kampi standard-bearer Gilbert Teodoro believes in the need to equally promote the natural and artificial methods of family planning.
“There are pros and cons over population advocacy but informed choice must be respected,” he said.
“We have to have a consensus. Government must serve as receptacles of advocacies that promote manageable population growth.” – Mike Frialde, Sheila Crisostomo, Jaime Laude