MANILA, Philippines – The regular consumption of instant coffee mixes and soft drinks is part of the simple joys of many ordinary Filipinos.
Nine in 10 Filipinos buy coffee mixes at least once a week, according to a 2015 study by Kantar Worldpanel. Meanwhile, the country’s per capita yearly consumption of a leading soft drinks brand is 129 bottles, each containing 8 ounces of soda, which is equivalent to nearly 23 liters per person yearly or two liters per person per month.
But this little pleasure from drinking sugary beverages may soon end. Legislators are pushing for the passage of a tax reform bill that seeks to increase by P10 a liter the excise tax on sugar-sweetened drinks.
Called the TRAIN or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Bill, the Duterte administration’s pet measure also seeks to impose the same levy on other sweetened drinks such as tea, juice, flavored water, and energy and sports beverages.
But while beverage-loving Filipinos would be burdened by the bill’s proposed added costs, Department of Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua thinks there’s more to be gained than lost from the measure.
WATCH USEC CHUA’S VIDEOS AND CHECK OUT THE INFOGRAPHICS ABOUT THE LINK OF SUGAR CONSUMPTION TO DIABETES AND OTHER DISEASES.
WATCH | USEC CHUA EXPLAINS WHY THE TAX REFORM BILL IS A HEALTH MEASURE
WATCH | USEC CHUA TALKS ABOUT THE BENEFICIARIES OF TAX REVENUE FROM SUGAR-SWEETENED DRINKS