The Finance department is willing to forego a planned P10 excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages if the Senate approves reform measures originally proposed for legislative approval.
“What I told [Ways and Means committee chairman Sen. Juan Edgardo] Angara was I am willing to drop the sugar tax but pass the original DoF (Department of Finance) bill,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd told reporters over the weekend.
“You don’t have to pass it this time. You don’t have to pass it at all, but pass the original bill,” he added, referring to Senate Bill (SB)1408 that was filed by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
Angara last week said that Dominguez, during a meeting in Malacanang, had offered to give up the sugar tax in exchange for Senate’s retaining higher fuel taxes approved earlier this year by the House of Representatives.
Some senators oppose provisions in SB 1408, which among others calls for tax hikes on products such as cars and fuel to make up for revenue losses from hefty personal income tax cuts.
Under the Constitution, tax measures should originate from the House. The Senate can propose its own measure or concur with the House’s proposals.