Republic Act No. 10351 or the Sin Tax Reform Act of 2012 aims to address the smoking problem in the country. The law changed the tax structure drastically by imposing higher taxes on tobacco products, leading to higher prices. The goal is to prevent smoking initiation and promote cessation. Five years after the law was passed, the time is ripe for discussions on how the measure has affected the country’s smoking situation. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey in 2015 suggests an improvement from the pre-reform years, particularly in terms of lower smoking prevalence.
Moreover, the government collected significant amounts to fund its universal health coverage campaign. Incremental revenues resulted in millions of indigents and senior citizens being covered with health insurance without the government having to take away resources from other agencies. Sin taxes also funded the government’s health promotion and disease prevention initiatives, as well as medical assistance and facilities enhancement. Despite these positive outcomes, there remain important questions to be addressed, including the sustainability of sin tax revenues as a source of funds for health.>>read complete document