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Industry group opposes sugar tax

The Federation of Philippine Industries Inc. is opposing the proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, saying the bill is “anti-poor.”

FPI president Jess Arranza said Monday the proposed measure was discriminatory to people who were relying on sugar to boost their energy.

“If they are taxing beverages with sugar, then they should tax all. How about the coffee shops like Starbucks and Seattle’s Best? Why only three-in-one coffee mixes, juices and softdrinks? But our stand is for the government to exclude sugary drinks from taxes,” he said.

A Finance official said that the proposed inclusion of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages could generate an additional P47 billion for the government coffers under package 2 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program.

Under the CTRP, sugar-laden drinks will be imposed an excise tax of P10 per liter. Studies showed that instant coffee would see a price increase of 48.41 percent after an excise tax of P10 per liter was imposed, raising the price of a sachet of coffee from P5 to P8. 

Powdered concentrate will go up in price by 108.61 percent, or from P9 per sachet to P19, while prices of tea drinks will jump 52.48 percent, from the current P20 to P30 per bottle. 

Topics: Federation of Philippine Industries Inc. , sugar tax , sugar-sweetened beverages , Comprehensive Tax Reform Program

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