Extra tax eyed on salty food

The Health department said Tuesday it is considering to propose an additional tax on salty products including processed food, a move similar to taxing sweetened beverages.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said the proposal was aimed at encouraging consumers to buy healthier food.

“The effect will be to increase the price of food with high amounts of salt, so people will buy healthier options because they’re cheaper,” Domingo told reporters.

“And another possible effect of this is that food manufacturers will consciously reformulate their products. They will use less salt so the price will decrease also, and then the products in the market would become healthier.”

The Duterte administration’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law slapped an excise tax on drinks with caloric and non-caloric sweeteners.

The United Nations Interagency Task Force says the high consumption of salt is one of the causes of non-communicable diseases in the country, which include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and chronic respiratory diseases.

The average salt intake of Filipinos is also twice the recommendation of the World Health Organization, UNIATF External Relations Officer Alexey Kulikov said.

He said while the WHO recommends five grams of salt a day, an average Filipino consumes 11 grams.

Topics: Department of Health , Eric Domingo , Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law , World Health Organization , United Nations Interagency Task Force
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