Public health group backs soda tax bill
A PUBLIC health policy think tank on Friday welcomed the approval of a measure imposing a 10-percent ad valorem tax on soft drinks and other sugary drinks in the House of Representatives committee level, saying it will help curb the rising rate of obesity among Filipinos.
HealthJustice Philippines described as a “step in the right direction” in promoting better health the move of the House ways and means committee to give the go-ahead on the substitute bill for House Bill No. 3365 filed by Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing.
“The soda tax bill is a health promotion measure. We urge Congress to pass it as soon as possible,” said HealthJustice managing director Irene Reyes.
Reyes cited the latest figures culled by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute showing a surge in the number of Filipinos who are overweight and obese—from 16.6 percent in 1993 to 29.9 percent in 2013.
“It does not help that soft drinks are still very cheap and accessible especially to children in school,” she added.
The bill defined sweetened drinks as “nonalcoholic drinks that contain caloric sweeteners, added sugar or artificial or noncaloric sweetener which may be in liquid or solid mixture, syrup or concentrates that are added to water or other liquids to make a drink.” Jocelyn R. Uy
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