You may be paying more for junk food in the future, as a senator has presented the idea of imposing a tax on junk food items in order to pool funds for the country’s COVID-19 efforts.
According to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the added tax would be a way to discourage the public from consuming too much snacks that have little to no nutritional value.
"Ngayon po, itong panukala on junk food ay pinag-aaralan pa lang dito. Matagal na hong napag-uusapan ng Department of Finance, ng Kongreso, pero patuloy nating pinag-aaralan. At timing, kasi importante rin sa taxation ang timing," Gatchalian said in an interview with Dobol B sa News TV.
He said that now was the right time to tax junk food, as the government still needs funds to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"Dahil unang-una, kailangan natin 'yung pondo sa mga susunod na panahon at tingin ko talagang established na 'yung ganitong chichirya ay walang nutritional value. Walang magandang naidudulot sa ating kalusugan," he said.
It’s still not clear what brands or types of junk food will be taxed, but Gatchalian clarified that he did not agree with the National Tax Research Center’s proposal to tax all junk foods, such as fries and burgers from fast food establishments, as they still have nutritional value, and could be the only option for some consumers.
"Hindi akong sang-ayon doon dahil marami tayong mga kababayan na 'yun po ang kinakain ng regular at hindi naman lahat ng nasa fast food chain ay masasabi nating unhealthy," Gatchalian said.
"For example, fried chicken. Ang chicken may nutritional value din. For example, 'yung mga spaghetti may nutritional value rin," he said.
At least 10% excise tax may be imposed on select junk food items, which would bring in about P5 to P10 billion in revenue.
"Tingin ko ine-estimate natin between 5 to 10 billion. Nakikita namin na importante din 'yung tinatawag na tax administration dahil itong mga junk food na ito ay dapat i-monitor at magbayad nang tama," he said.
Main image by Hans from Pixabay.