EDC opposes proposed Excise Tax on Sugar Sweetened Beverages
Export Development Council News
October 18, 2016

 The Export Development Council (EDC) expresses its reservation to House Bill No. 292 “An Act Imposing Excise Tax on Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs)” which seeks to levy, assess and collect an excise tax of PhP 10.00 per liter of SSBs. The imposition of tax is aimed to generate a Health Promotion Fund to address health concerns that stem from the consumption of SSBs.

EDC recognizes that the objective of this Bill is to promote a healthy lifestyle among Filipinos. However, the passage of this Bill might hamper the growth of the beverage industry, local sugar farmers as well as fruit farmers since it will experience a decline caused by lower demand of fruit juices and sugar. It is noted that beverage is one of the key export sectors cited in the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2015-2017.

The Beverage Industry Association of the Philippines (BIAP) states that consumption of SSBs is behavioral in nature and driven by the individual consumers’ choices, habits, and attitudes. Accordingly, SSBs do not pose a health concern when consumed normally.

EDC recommends that the government explores other strategies (public awareness campaign and promotion of a healthy lifestyle) that can reduce SSB consumption and develop an efficient “off-setting measure” to cover the losses to be incurred in the commitment to provide a reformed tax policy package. Imposing excise tax on a single product alone tends to be regressive and unfair for the industry.□