MANILA - - Expected revenues from excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is seen to contribute some PHP52.03 billion to government coffers this 2018.

Department of Finance (DOF) data showed that based on the medium-term revenue program, excise tax from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) is the fourth largest revenue contributor among excise taxes in the country.

Under Package 1 of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), otherwise known as Republic Act (RA) No. 10963), drinks using sugar and artificial sweeteners will have an excise tax of PHP6  per liter while it is PHP12 per liter for drinks that use high fructose corn syrup.

Exempted, however, from this law are all kinds of milk, 3-in-1 coffee products, natural fruit and vegetable juices, and medically-indicated beverages.

SSB excise tax is not part of the revenues set under the medium term program.

DOF, in an explanation on its website, said the excise tax on SSB “will help promote a healthier Philippines” since it discourages the public from consuming sugar-sweetened beverages that boost their chances of being obese or have diabetes or worsens the situation of those who already have the disease.

“This is a measure that is meant to encourage consumption of healthier products, to raise public awareness of the harms of SSBs, and to help incentivize the industry to develop healthier products and complements,” it said.

Total excise taxes expected to be collected this year amount to about PHP300.208 billion.

Bulk of these were programmed to be collected from tobacco products, PHP126.969 billion; followed by alcoholic products, PHP56.23 billion; and tobacco products, PHP52.282 billion.

SSB excise tax was programmed to have the fourth largest collection followed by those from automobiles, PHP7.029 billion; fuels and oils, PHP5.398 billion; miscellaneous, PHP158 billion; cosmetic procedures, PHP100 million; and tobacco inspection fee, PHP11 million.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has repeatedly stressed this confidence to collect the programmed revenues as major collecting agencies – the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which collects around 70 percent of taxes, and the Bureau of Customs (BOC), registered big improvements in their collections in most of 2017.

He earlier disclosed that based on preliminary figures, BIR’s 2017 collections rose 12.5 percent year-on-year while BOC’s increased by 17 percent.

BIR was tasked to collect PHP1.829 trillion in 2017 and BOC PHP468 billion.

Bureau of the Treasury data showed that BIR collected PHP1.567 trillion in 2016 while BOC’s revenues during the same period amounted to PHP396.4 billion.

For 2018, BIR revenue goal was set at PHP2.039 trillion, about 11.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), while BOC’s target is PHP627 billion. (PNA)