Senator Pia Cayetano Seeks To Increase Taxes For Alcoholic Drinks

Alcohol would always be a part of any Filipino gathering.  Fiestas, birthday parties, wedding receptions, or even a small get-together will not be complete without a bottle or case of beer being consumed.

Food and Nutrition Research Institute

Higher Taxes for Alcoholic Drinks 

Senator Pia Cayetano who heads the Senate Ways and Means Committee said that there is an alarming number of alcohol drinkers among Filipinos. She is seeking to increase taxes for alcoholic drinks and electronic cigarettes.

The senator pointed out that the high percentage of binge drinking is becoming a major problem on a global scale. 

Senator Cayetano emphasizes that the need to increase taxes on alcoholic drinks is mainly to protect Filipinos from health risks of alcohol which has been also done for tobacco products.


Beer, a Filipino favorite

Beer ranks as a favorite among Filipinos because of its affordability and accessibility. Anyone can easily buy a bottle of beer in a convenience store or a sari-sari store.

Filipino drinking culture

Drinking beer after a tiring workday has become a relaxing habit among Pinoys. Beer TV commercials encourage and entice consumers that drinking is a way of life, a source of fun and happiness.

Bad effects of alcohol

Alcoholic drinks if taken moderately has a minimal effect in the body but short-term effects still depend on the amount taken and the physical condition of the drinker. Alcohol can cause drowsiness, slurred speech, distorted vision and hearing, and vomiting. 


Drinking and habitual alcohol use lead to more serious problems like liver cirrhosis, heart-related illness, stroke, and high blood pressure. Oftentimes, alcoholics tend to have a poor judgment that results in a car crash, falls, relationship problems, and domestic violence

Demographics of alcohol drinkers

Based on the article Alcohol and Media, published on, there are about 4.2 million male drinkers and 1.1 million female drinkers in the Philippines. There are also studies made that Filipino youth start drinking alcohol at the age of 16 or 17 and become habitual drinkers in the future.


Alcoholism is also not considered a serious illness so there are small numbers of drinkers who submit themselves to rehabilitation.

Increasing the tax on alcoholic drinks is not a guarantee that the number of Filipinos who drink alcohol will decrease because drinking is already considered Filipino traditions.

Source: Manila Times