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Dominguez defends excise tax on sweetened drinks

Softdrinks. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez on Thursday defended the government proposal to impose an excise tax of P10 on sugar sweetened beverages.

Dominguez said the proposed tax was meant to discourage the public from consuming unhealthy sugary drinks.

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“You know, too much sugar is bad for you. So, if the consumption—excessive consumption of sugar goes down, your health will be better,” Dominguez said.

“So, it’s really a health measure. You’re trying to discourage the consumption of unhealthy products, just like cigarettes, alcohol,” he said.

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Under the administration’s tax reform package, which was passed by the House of Representatives on May 31, an excise tax of P10 would be imposed on sugar-sweetened beverages, which include sweetened juice drinks, sweetened tea and coffee, carbonated beverages with added sugar, including those with caloric and noncaloric sweeteners.

A similar tax would also be imposed on flavored water, energy drinks, sports drinks, powdered drinks, cereal and grain beverages, other non-alcoholic beverages that contain added sugar, and caloric and artificial sweeteners.

“It’s not to make people starve. It’s to make it more expensive to consume foods that are not good for your health so that you will change your diet to healthy foods,” Dominguez said.

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