Can sin taxes on tobacco solve funding challenges in healthcare system?

Philippines experience shows that it can be effectively used to expand healthcare program for poor

Jaidev Singh AnandVrishali Shekhar


The adverse health effects and hazardous nature of goods (substances) such as tobacco and alcohol are well known. This has led several countries to implement a tax on these goods, commonly referred to as sin taxes. These taxes increase government revenue for healthcare services and, simultaneously discourage the consumption of such products. 
In the Asia Pacific region, the Philippines has led the battle against usage of substances injurious to health by introducing Sin Tax reforms. The Republic Act 10351 (popularly known as the Sin Tax Reform 2012) became a law in December 2012. The intended objective of the reform was to use excise tax on alcohol and tobacco to generate resources for financing the expansion of Universal Health Care. 
The Sin Tax Reform had a direct impact on the health budget which increased substantially post reform. This led to an increment of twenty five percent in revenues in the first few months of its imple

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First Published: Jan 10 2017 | 5:05 PM IST

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