Is the tobacco industry shutting down positive media coverage of the Sin Tax Bill? #sintax

Where are the stories of the Sin tax bill? From September 1 to 10, only 11 stories came out on print media: nine were negative, one was positive while one was neutral. Check out this infographic created by @sintaxph:

Images from @sintaxph

Enlarge infographic

The website Sin tax for Health reports the following in their website:

Both government officials and concerned non-government organizations have complained about an alleged news blackout on the Sin Tax debates being held in the Senate. Supposedly, this is to keep compelling testimonies and the health issues surrounding the Sin Tax Bill out of the newspapers. A report by Ces Orena-Drilon quotes an official of Health Justice, an organization advocating the Sin Tax, as saying, “We…have information about actual feature articles and cover pages being sold to the tobacco industry.”

We don’t know what information they have, but we do know that whether or not this is true, we all have a loud enough voice to get the message out there: the Sin Tax is an Anti-Cancer Tax; it is a measure for the health of the nation.

This is what websites like this are for—this is the role that social media is playing today, in an increasingly important manner: to make sure that the voices of all are heard.

The report cites a research paper from the University of Sydney that claims that “…cigarette manufacturers manipulate media outlets and politicians to keep the prices of cigarettes low and to keep the subject of its adverse effects out of the news.” The same research also says that the Philippines has the strongest tobacco lobby in Asia. This may be true, but we believe that so long as there are Filipinos who believe in this cause—who believe that the Sin Tax Bill is good for our country—and are unafraid to speak their minds, news blackout or no news blackout, we can spread the message across the country.

So take action. Write about it on your blogs or Facebook statuses.  Follow on @sintaxph on twitter. Tweet about the #sintax, or join the discussion on the Facebook page. Point other people to the resources available on this website and others. If we stay informed and help others to be informed, we can help more and more Filipinos know what’s going on.

Read the report of Ces Orena-Drilon.

 Read a column of Yoly Villanueva-Ong on the same issue.

Join the discussion on Facebook here.

Know more about the Sin Tax Bill:

Sin Tax Bill SB-3249

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a Content Strategist with over 12 years experience in blogging, content management, citizen advocacy and media literacy and over 22 years in web development. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good.

She is a co-founder and a member of the editorial board of Blog Watch . She is a resource speaker on media literacy, social media , blogging, digital citizenship, good governance, transparency, parenting, women’s rights and wellness, and cyber safety.

Her personal blogs such as aboutmyrecovery.com (parenting) , pinoyfoodblog.com (recipes), techiegadgets.com (gadgets) and beautyoverfifty.net (lifestyle), benguetarabica.coffee keep her busy outside of Blog Watch.

Disclosure:

I am an advocate. I am NOT neutral. I will NOT give social media mileage to members of political clans, epal, a previous candidate for the same position and those I believe are a waste of taxpayers’ money.

I do not support or belong to any political party but I am a volunteer for senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares. I am also voting for #OtsoDiretso plus two :Neri Colmenares and Leody de Guzman

She was a Senior Consultant for ALL media engagements for the PCOO-led Committee on Media Affairs & Strategic Communications (CMASC) under the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council from January 4 -July 5, 2017. Having been an ASEAN advocate since 2011, she has written extensively about the benefits of the ASEAN community and as a region of opportunities on Blog Watch and aboutmyrecovery.com.

Organization affiliation includes Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation

Updated April 20, 2019

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