• Finance dept sweetens pot on petroleum tax

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    THE Finance Department is willing to forego a proposal to impose a P10.00 excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages if Congress will agree to pass the petroleum products tax bill in full, Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said Friday.

    Angara, chairman of the committee on ways and means, said it was Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd who hinted at making a deal with Congress to ensure the approval of the proposed additional tax on fuel.

    The Executive branch in its Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) bill wants to impose higher excise tax on gasoline and impose excise tax on diesel.

    Under the proposal, an additional P6.00 to the P4.30 per liter excise tax will be imposed on gasoline, and P6.00 per liter on diesel.

    The House of Representatives, in its approved Bill 5636, retained Malacanang’s excise tax proposal on oil products but suggested that this be divided into P3.00, P2.00 and P1.00 over three years.

    Angara said several senators still considered the rates too high and suggested a different scheme to reduce the impact of the increase.

    While it will retain the P6.00 excise tax on diesel, the Senate is eyeing a split of P1.00, 2.00 and P3.00 or P2.00 per year over three years.

    As for the proposed excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, Angara said the proposal was facing strong opposition for being excessive.

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