The government is considering imposing excise duty on sweetened beverages, including soft drinks, to make up for revenue loss expected President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to lower personal income tax rate.
Department of Finance spokesperson Paola Alvarez, speaking on the sidelines of the Financial Times-First Metro Philippines Investment Summit held in Makati City on Tuesday, said the administration is discussing the measure with lawmakers.
This is besides the government’s earlier statement that it will push for higher fuel taxes.
“If our target is to create P60 billion revenue a year, you have to have at least two new tax measures. It would be a combination of the two,” she told reporters.
“Right now, the bill submitted was only for soft drinks. It is still under consideration,” she added, referring to House Bill 3365, which was approved by the ways and means committee during the 16th Congress. The bill proposes an additional 10 percent ad valorem duty, which will increase taxes already slapped on sweetened beverages.
“Right now there are different tax bills already filed and we are already talking to the senators on what they think we should increase, or what should be decreased, and how we should do it,” she said.
Aside from that, she said “we are waiting for the Congress to convene the committees so that we can also have a dialogue with them and find out what their proposals are.”
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd had earlier confirmed that the government would push for higher excise taxes on fuels, noting that it is the right time for such a move now that oil prices remain low.
Petroleum products are now taxed at different rates ranging up to P4.50 a liter or kilogram.