Duterte admin eyes additional tax on junk foods

  • The incoming Finance chief Carlos Dominguez III is eyeing tax on junk foods to promote health and boost government revenue
  • Dominguez also plans to implement another tax amnesty
  • However, he rejected the proposal to increase VAT from 12% to 14%

MANILA, Philippines  – In an effort to promote better health habits and increase revenue, the next administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is mulling on imposing additional tax on junk foods. This was bared by incoming Finance secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

Dominguez said these type of foods lacks nutritional value and are generally ‘harmful” and often cause obesity and diseases among kids and adults alike.

“Taxes on food items that cause obesity and disease are in our sights. If a product causes health issues, I think people should be discouraged from using it,” Dominguez said in a statement.

While Dominguez did not specify which junk foods will likely be included in the list, he said he would want these items to be under the coverage of the sin tax law which covers tobacco and liquor products.

Tax amnesty

Dominguez also raised the possibility of offering another tax amnesty for erring taxpayers to give these defaulters another chance at paying their taxes dutifully.

“We have to evaluate the implications of that. Off hand, it sounds very attractive. Saying, ‘Ok, what you did in the past is forgiven and now we will start anew,’ said Dominguez.

The last tax amnesty program in the country was implemented more than a decade ago under the “Tax Amnesty Act of 2007 which covered all national internal revenue taxes for the taxable year 2005 and prior years that have remained unpaid as of 31 December 2005.

The incoming Finance chief likewise rejected the proposal to increase the current value added tax (VAT) rate from 12 percent to 14 percent which is being pushed by the Aquino government under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Package.

Dominguez added the tax reform agenda of the Duterte administration should be ready by September 2016.