The 6 and 12 pesos SSB Excise Tax

Never heard anything yet about asin tax. The proposed law which supposed increased the price of salt laden food products such as noodles and junk foods. However, the sugar tax came into fruition under the TRAIN law. The excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Before anything else, they should state good reasons why add hefty tax on those.

According to health professionals. Sugar sweetened beverages provide no nutritional value. They are cheap and accessible to almost anyone. Imagine every grocery and sari-sari stores you see carry it. It is true. If there are 20 sari-sari stores in your barrio. Then you can buy softdrink or instant juice drink from all of them. It is so affordable, making it a daily habit is no big deal.

It promotes unhealthy lifestyle. A baby starting to consume foods, eats anything given to him. First is the breast milk, then infant formula, specially made baby foods and light biscuits. All those have one thing in common. All are bland tasting. Then, as soon as he tasted sweeter milk, juices and candies. He declines bland foods. The usual healthy foods.

What nutritional value those sugar-sweetened beverages have. They are basically made of three things – water, sugar and flavorings.

It is one of the leading cause of diabetes and obesity. Imposing tax is a mean of control and cover for government expenditures.

Will it help? Maybe! I heard rumors of Coca-Cola Company restructuring and laying off workers. S&R is discontinuing the free beverage. The sari-sari store immediately near us raise the softdrink price from 7 to 9 pesos. Juice drink in doy pouches from 7 to 10 pesos.

If healthier alternatives become more affordable then it will surely help. A friend of mine produces natural calamansi drink that sells only for 10 pesos. It is very popular to school children.

The SSB Excise Tax adds 6 pesos per liter of beverage added with caloric or non caloric-sweetener or mixture of both. E.g. caloric is cane sugar while the non-caloric is aspartame. On the other hand it adds 12 per liter on beverages added with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).

Sugar is sugar. If consumed in excess will exhibit harmful effects. But what makes HFCS so special that it got double burden?

HFCS and cane sugar are both made of sucrose and fructose. HFCS problem is due to its biochemical structure. It has unbonded sucrose and fructose molecules that are readily absorb into circulatory stream. The fructose goes right to the liver, making it work harder than usual, like a machine doing extra load for extended periods. Damage is likely.

For diabetic, it means a sudden spike in blood sugar. For non diabetic. Remember, blood sugar regulation is done by spleen. If you make it work extra hard, it will fail and never produce insulin. The end result is still diabetes.

HFCS is speculated to contain mercury as contaminant due to manufacturing process.

HFCS is cheaper than refined cane sugar. It allows company produce more for lesser cost. A heavier excise tax will discourage manufacturers use.

Included in sugar excise tax are:

1) All carbonated beverages with added sugar, including those with caloric and non-caloric sweetener.
2) Flavored water
3) Energy drinks
4) Sports drinks
5) Other powdered drinks not classified as milk
6) Cereal and other grain beverages.
7) Other non-alcoholic beverages that contain sugar

3-in-1 coffee, milk and 100% natural juice are exempted.


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