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Haresco asks Congress to impose excise tax on softdrinks

MANILA, Philippines -  Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. of the party-list group Ang Kasangga is asking Congress to impose an excise or specific tax on imported and local soft drinks to raise additional revenues for the treasury.

He has filed a bill to amend the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 to add soft drinks in the list of products that are levied an excise tax.

The list presently includes petroleum, alcohol and tobacco products like gasoline, liquor and cigarettes.

Haresco said the additional money to be raised from a specific tax on soft drinks could be used to build new hospitals and health centers and improve existing health facilities.

He is proposing a P5-per-liter levy on foreign brands, whether made here or abroad, and P3 per liter on local brands.

His bill would also redefine soft drinks as “any non-alcoholic beverage, carbonated or noncarbonated, manufactured from whatever sources or by whatever process.”

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The Revenue Code defines soft drinks as “any non-alcoholic beverage comprised of carbonated water and flavored with some kind of sweetener.”

Haresco, whose party-list group is composed of small entrepreneurs, is suggesting that 20 percent of the money to be raised from his proposed soft drinks tax be given to the town or city where the levy is collected.

There are several other revenue bills pending in the House, including one that seeks the restructuring of excise taxes on cigarettes and liquor.

One measure that the committee on ways and means has endorsed is the reduction of the 12-percent value added tax (VAT) to six percent and the removal of the so-called input VAT.  

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