Tobacco firm’s investment worries health advocates


MANILA, Philippines—Health advocates on Friday expressed concern over the decision of British American Tobacco (BAT) to invest $200 million in the Philippines.

Engineer Elmer Rojas, president of the cancer survivor group New Vois Association of the Philippines, said the money could be used to promote cigarette smoking in the country.

“It’s always good news to hear that foreign companies are interested in investing in the country, but not when it comes from an industry that sells poison for profit.” Rojas said in a statement.

“We have been working for sin tax reform because we know how it can improve and protect the right to health. When companies like BAT use the measure to their advantage, our government must have a back-up plan for health to counter the $200-million plan to invest in the country.” he added.

BAT, a British multinational tobacco company headquartered in London, is the world’s second-largest tobacco company by sales (after Philip Morris International).

Its four largest-selling brands are Dunhill, Lucky Strike, Kent and Pall Mall, with others including Kool, Benson & Hedges and Rothmans.

Lawyer Irene Reyes, director of HealthJustice Philippines, said that the public should “expect more aggressive marketing strategies from the tobacco industry as the main players compete for the share of the Philippine market.

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  • joboni96

    ‘BAT to invest $200 million in the Philippines’

    i doubt it
    maybe $20 million

    the rest raised from pilipino depositors
    as loans from intsik switik banks

    intsik switiks getting rich
    on pilipino misfortunes

    just don’t smoke and
    help pilipino farmers convert to healthier plant products
    like corn sorghum coconut
    even wheat

  • Edward Solilap

    The National Government wants additional taxes from tobacco industries in form of sin tax bill and even criticized Senators that opposes the 60 billion target now some of these anti-smoking groups are against Investor that produces deadly smokes huh? How about the smoke belching exhaust of PUBuses and PUJeepneys in metro-manila? nobody care! 

  • Carum Al Dumal

    I Thailand, a tobacco company even donates money to an NGO.  Can you believe that? They will do anything to sell their product.

  • jerico

    This move is a sign that other tobacco industry, especially a giant European brand, see a fair playing field now and the competition is fair enough. This is how business atmosphere should be, not monopolizing only by one industry because they know they can manipulate their profits due to poor tax implementation and unfair competition. This is what the corrupt politician is afraid of that the government will get to control and not the politician who for their greediness and for self interest, managed to collect “tongpats” from this businesses in return of a favor. I CONGRATULATE ALL THE POLITICIAN WHO PASS THE SIN TAX BILL AND TO PRES. AQUINO FOR A JOB WELL DONE.

  • Jose Rizal

    Taxing heavily on Tobacco products is not a good deterrent to minimize the smokers.
    Tax is primarily a way to collect revenue…

  • krisatienza

    And what Is Sen. Marcos is saying about losing businesses up in the North?

  • calipso_2100

    tax them  a %100,000.

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