CENCO invites journalists to advocate for tobacco tax increases in DRC

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Kinshasa, June 6th, 2021 (CPA).- The Liaison Office with the Parliament of the CENCO (BLP) / CENCO invites, on Saturday, journalists to be major allies in the advocacy aimed at obtaining the change in the tax of excise to move from advalorem taxation to specific taxation, at the end of the capacity building session for journalists at the Bethany Center in the commune of Gombe.

The coordinator of the project « Fiscal advocacy on tobacco taxation in Africa, 2nd phase », Jean-Paul Mulyanga, justified the merits of this session under the general theme, « Tobacco taxation in the DRC by CENCO », by the fact that the press is a major element in the mobilization of the national community.

He asked them to work in a network in order to achieve the expected results and by integrating the knowledge acquired on a daily basis in their journalistic profession.

« The main goal of this project in its 2nd phase is to continue to support advocacy at the national level in order to bring about the reforms of the tobacco tax by the adoption of specific taxation, and also aims to take measures to ‘application of the public health law in its financial aspect to achieve a 20% increase in the tobacco tax, ”he said.

BLP / CENCO Director Jean Paul Mulyanga said CENCO continues to be an essential and reliable government resource on tobacco tax and tax savings.

The main facilitator of the capacity building session with journalists, Me Eugène Ngabu set the training objectives within the framework of the partner « Tax Justice Net Work Africa (TJNA) among others, to have in the DRC a network of journalists who would specialize in tobacco taxation and capable of conducting advocacy leading to reduced accessibility of cigarettes.

This network of journalists should also work on economic governance by developing skills on tobacco taxation and skills to counter the arguments of the tobacco industry which aim at reforms on tobacco taxation, he stressed.

Me Eugène Ngabu presented the subjects that constitute the challenges and issues of this advocacy, in particular that of having an understanding of the public anti-tobacco policy in the DRC, of ​​the framework convention on the fight against tobacco, of the problems of tobacco taxation, the inventory of the legal system for the fight against tobacco, discussions on the arguments of the tobacco industry to counter the fight against tobacco, etc.“The tobacco tax increase aims to increase public resources and decrease the accessibility of the poor and young people to cigarettes, reducing the supply and production of cigarettes while making it known that it is a fight against Goliath, ”he remarked.

For his part, the director of the National Program for the fight against drug addicts and toxic substances (PNLCT), Patrice Milambo Kapia presented the WHO framework convention for the fight against tobacco (CCLAT), 1st international public health treaty against a licit drug signed by 192 states in response to the global tobacco epidemic.

He pointed out the fundamental reason for this fiscal plea, by the fact that smoking kills half of its consumers and at the base of the disabilities, that second-hand smoke causes more than 30 health problems, incurs excessive expenditure on health costs. . »Smoking causes one death every five seconds and projections in this direction are alarming. The increase in taxes contributes to reducing the production of tobacco and these resources thus collected, must be paid into the public health account because the sector engages a lot of resources which are unfortunately lacking, concluded Patrice Milambo Kapia. ACP/