Lawmaker opposes excise taxes on fuels, sugar sweetened beverages

ABANG Lingkod party-list Representative Stephen Paduano expressed opposition to the proposed excise taxes to be imposed on petroleum products and sugar sweetened beverages included in the proposed Tax Reform Package passed in the committee level.

Paduano said the inclusion of excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages was done Wednesday, a move that surprised him.

“The sugar industry has been hounded by threats from the entry of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This is will be an additional problem because this will certainly jack up the prices of beverages, including the commonly used products like 3-in-1 coffee,” Paduano pointed out.

He said what is supposed to be taxed is the HFCS, but it cannot be done under the Asean Free Trade Agreement.

As a compromise, there is a proposal that 15 percent of the tax generated from the excise tax on sugar sweetened products will go to the sugar industry, Paduano said.

Paduano is also against the imposition of excise tax of P3 per liter on gasoline this year, additional P2 per liter in 2018, and P1 per liter in 2019 for a total of P6 per liter.

“Although gradual, this will definitely affect other goods and products because fuel is universal so this will affect all of us,” Paduano added.

Paduano said he is not against the Tax Reform Package in general, only the three items.

He is also against is the removal of the senior citizen discount privilege in restaurants.

“They believe that well-off senior citizens and persons with disability can afford to dine out that's why they want to remove the discount privilege for them, which I am also against,” Paduano added.

One of the highlights of the Tax Reform Package is the tax exemption for minimum wage earners with an annual salary of up to P250,000 and lowering of the income tax for corporations from 30 percent to 25 percent.
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