Need for tobacco tax reforms
A white paper on the need for tobacco tax reforms was developed in 2009 for use of policy makers in the legislature. Despite the intensive advocacy efforts by the Dept of Health, in collaboration with the non-governmental organizations, the proposed tax measures did not progress.
In 2012, the Dept of Health collaborated with the Dept of Finance and other government agencies, in partnership with the civil society, to lobby for the needed tax reforms and comply with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) obligations. The "sin tax" bill, viewed as "anti-cancer" bill, aims to generate revenues for universal health care of Filipinos and to decrease the prevalence of tobacco-related diseases and death.
The civil society developed primers on sin tax bill for the citizens and information manuals that can aid media practitioners in disseminating the issues on the complexities of tobacco tax in the country.
Let us continue to work together so that the sin tax bill will be signed into law and implemented as proposed. We should continue to be vigilant of tobacco industry interference. Messages in the attached primers should be disseminated regularly for public awareness.