WHO cheers Duterte’s sugar tax
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Saturday revealed that the World Health Organization (WHO) gave praised to the government for the tax increase on sweetened beverages.
“No. 1, the tax on sugar-based softdrinks was actually praised by the WHO as a means of promoting public health because it would discourage the drinking of very sweet softdrinks,” Roque said in press briefing at the Philippine Information Agency regional office here. “Some public schools are not even allowed to sell softdrinks to our children.”
“So, in that sense TRAIN will raise revenues from products which we consider as not being too healthy at the same time promoting public health. But I underscore the fact that most of the basic commodities, even if they were levied additional excise tax, it was at a minimum level,” Roque added.
On concerns that some businessmen taking advantage of TRAIN as reason for imposing undue price increases, Roque said these unscrupulous traders must be reported to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“Isumbong po natin yan sa DTI because meron pong nilalabag na batas kapag sila’y nagsasamantala sa pagtaas ng presyo at sinisisi sa TRAIN, hindi naman pala napupunta sa gobyerno. Yan po ay pinagbabawal at pinapatawan ng parusa (That is illegal and punishable by law),” Roque said.
Softdrink prices have increased by P3 following the imposition of higher taxes from newly-enacted Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act. (PNA)