2009 GATS survey in the Philippines

Policy implications

GATS provides important information on key indicators of tobacco control by socio-demographic characteristics. Thus, it creates an opportunity for policy-makers and the tobacco control community at different levels to make or modify targeted interventions in different areas of tobacco control.

Based on the findings from the 2009 Philippine GATS, the following specific recommendations need to be implemented:

  • GATS has proved to be an invaluable addition to the Global Tobacco Surveillance System effort being conducted by the DOH and other partners in the Philippines. The goal now must be to sustain this effort and to “link” the data to tobacco control program objectives.
  • The Philippines must amend R.A. 9211 to ensure complete smoke-free environments in all indoor public space and workplaces, and in outdoor public spaces such as parks, markets, transport terminals, waiting sheds and public utility vehicles (without air-conditioning) such as jeepneys, tricycles and buses. Implementation and enforcement will be crucial in this effort.
  • Developing and implementing an effective comprehensive cessation program should be a high priority.
  • The Philippines must pass laws requiring pictorial warnings on all cigarette packages, including local and multi-national brands.
  • Passing a law requiring a 100% ban on all pro-tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship (direct and indirect) should be a high priority.
  • Tax structure of tobacco products must be simplified and progressive taxes on tobacco products periodically adjusted to keep pace with inflation.
  • Tobacco free plan IT module has been developed in partnership with the Department of Health National Epideomology Center.