Senate studies option to cap sugary drinks tax at P5/liter
The Senate is looking into slashing the proposed excise tax on sugary drinks to a maximum of P5 a liter depending on sugar content, as a compromise to pass the health measure while tempering the impact on consumers and businesses.
Senate ways and means committee chair Sen. Sonny Angara told reporters Thursday that stakeholders were pushing for a three-tier volume-based tax.
“We want to get the consensus as to where the levels will be set, but for the senators, they’re okay with the three tiers, as long as the maximum level does not exceed the equivalent of P5 per liter, so it’s transposed to per sugar content,” Angara said.
House Bill No. 5636 passed by the Lower House in May included in the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) the P10 per liter excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages that use local sugar.
Reducing the tax to be slapped on sugary drinks “will incentivize [manufacturers] to manufacture drinks which are perceived to be healthy and contain less sugar, and that would veer away from the volume, and that would suggest that you have to put different levels, so you can reward those who put less sugar in their beverages,” Angara said. —BEN O. DE VERA
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