HealthJustice (HJ) organized a forum/media briefing yesterday, May 17, in light of ongoing debates on reforms on tobacco excise taxes in the Philippines, entitled “What Could Health Promotion Do”. It was facilitated by SEATCA/Southeast Asia Initiative on Tobacco Tax (SITT) Coordinator for the Philippines, Mr. Ralph Degollacion.
Resource speakers discussed how establishing a health promotion foundation (HPF) for the country can support public health concerns. Speakers from sectors such women, the disabled, and the labor force provided insights and discussion points. Atty. Irene Reyes, HJ Managing director opened the forum with a background on the Philippine tobacco tax situation.
Dr. Ana Maria Nemenzo, Executive Director of WomanWatch spoke of challenges in the Millennium Development Goals pertaining to maternal and child health, Mr. Emer Roxas of the New Vois Association of the Philippines provided perspective on how the HPF can further support persons with disabilities, and Dr. Maria Beatriz Villanueva from the Occupational Safety and Health Center, Department of Labor and Employment shared their initiatives and partnerships with agencies of government and the private sector, to promote health of workers, via the zero accident program.
Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo, SEATCA-SITT Project Director spoke on the international best experiences and practices on health promotion, as funded by tobacco taxes.