Senate to amend tax on sweet drinks

The Senate plans to amend the proposed excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, with sugar content as the basis for the proposed progressive tax hike.

“We are moving away from volume-based towards a sugar content legislation. Not to mention the fact that the volume-based tax proposal is a bit on the high side and therefore more taxing for the consumers,” said Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the ways and means committee.

The original proposal of the Finance Department was to tax all sugar-sweetened products by P10 or P10 per liter. This will affect not only carbonated beverages, but also powdered and liquid juices, three-in-one coffees and other sweet beverages.

The Senate committee on ways and means said senators had yet to deliberate on the scale of how taxes on sugar-sweetened beverage would be implemented. The proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages was a part of House Bill 5636, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act bill, which consolidated more than 50 tax-related measures.