WHO to Fete Aquino for RH, Sin Tax Laws

April 7, 2013 5:52pm

The World Health Organization will fete President Benigno Aquino III on Monday for his achievements in public health, including the recently signed laws on reproductive health and sin taxes.

Malacañang said Aquino will be attending an event marking World Health Day 2013 at the WHO’s Regional Office for the Western Pacific in Manila.

Also expected to attend Monday’s event is Health Secretary Enrique Ona.

“Among his most significant accomplishments have been raising taxes on tobacco and alcohol, and giving vulnerable Filipinos access to health insurance and reproductive health care. He truly embodies the principle from which WHO derives so much of its direction and inspiration: that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental right,” a news release from the Presidential Communications and Operations Office quoted WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr Shin Young-soo as saying.

Shin added it is fitting to celebrate World Health Day by recognizing Aquino’s “exemplary leadership in public health.”

Aquino last year certified as urgent the controversial bill on reproductive health. It had been strongly opposed by the Catholic Church, which allows only natural family planning.

On March 19, the Supreme Court stopped the law’s implementation for 120 days.

The law on sin taxes raises the prices of tobacco and alcohol products, with the proceeds going to the government’s universal health care program.

Malacañang said the theme of World Health Day 2013 centers on high blood pressure (hypertension), which it said has been the leading source of many heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases.

High blood pressure is among the leading causes of preventable death, it added.

“The ultimate goal of World Health Day 2013 is to reduce heart attacks and strokes. Specific objectives of the campaign are to: raise awareness of the causes and consequences of high blood pressure; encourage adults to check their blood pressure and to follow the advice of health-care professionals; encourage self-care to prevent high blood pressure; make blood pressure measurement affordable to all; and encourage national and local authorities to create enabling environments for healthy behaviors,” the PCOO said.

It added World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 (April 8 in Manila) to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization in 1948. — BM, GMA News

Source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/302816/news/nation/who-to-fete-aquino-for-rh-sin-tax-laws

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