Tax reform package to face hurdle in Senate

SOME senators said the proposed tax reform package of the National Government will have a rough sailing in the Senate.

Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito said several of his colleagues are apprehensive on the bill.

Ejercito said he is against the excise taxes on sugar sweetened beverages, petroleum products, and housing.

He said he wants to be consistent as one of the sponsors of the Sugarcane Industry Development Act that’s why he cannot support the excise tax on sugar sweetened drinks which will surely affect the sugar farmers.

On petroleum products, the excise tax would be inflationary while in housing, would worsen the 5.5-million backlog as there will be no developer that will enter the socialized housing business, he said.

Senator Cynthia Villar said it is not easy to approve the Comprehensive Tax Reform Bill which was already passed by the House of Representatives.

Villar, who spoke at the Sugar Regulatory Administration Mill District Development Council Summit in Talisay City on Tuesday, July 25, said the Senate will have to strike a balance before they approve it.

“We know we have to give something to the government, but we have to soften also the blow to the public,” she said, adding that “we’ll have difficulty balancing.”

Villar said they have not tackled the bill yet because it is not easy for them to approve it as they need to hear the side of the people who are dependent on the sugar industry.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said he is still pushing to lower the sugar taxes and to amend it further, not by liter but by consumption.
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