Angara wants milk spared from Duterte tax reform measure
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said he stands by his position that milk, with sugar additives, should not be taxed as proposed by the draft Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Act that President Duterte wants Congress to pass in its entirety.
“Milk should not be taxed,” Angara said at a program that recognized the top taxpayers in this Pampanga capital on Thursday.
“Milk is important especially for children. They may not grow up to be healthy and tall if they cannot afford to buy milk due to higher taxes,” said Angara, who chairs the Senate committee on ways and means.
He also said a tax of P6 a liter of gasoline, as proposed by the Department of Finance, is “a bit too high.”
The flip side of tax reforms, he said, is that it helps generate revenues from soft drinks and coffee at rates based on the commodity’s sugar content.
The additional tax for soft drinks, under the proposed measure, will be P10 a liter and P5 to be imposed on powdered coffee sold in sachets.
“The higher the sugar, the higher the tax,” Angara said.
The Duterte administration aims to generate P130 billion from taxes in the first year of the implementation of the Train Act. The House of Representatives had approved its version of the measure, House Bill (HB) No. 5636.
“Tax collection during of the Arroyo and Aquino administrations was good and I think President Duterte intends to do good as well to fund development,” Angara said.
Like the so-called sin tax that is being used to expand PhilHealth coverage, the senator said he wants the proceeds of the proposed excise tax on vehicles to be used in improving the public transport system such as fixing the MRT and LRT train lines and subsidizing the jeepney modernization program.
He said weekly hearings by the Senate committee on ways and means may enable it to come out with a report on HB No. 5636 by September. “We’re seeking to find a middle ground,” he said.
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