Dagdag na 10% tax sa soft drinks, carbonated at sweetened drinks, pinag-aaralan na ng Kongreso

admin   •   August 19, 2014   •   12840

Ang pagpapataw ng dagdag na 10% buwis sa mga inuming may matataas na sugar contents tulad ng mga soft drink ay pinag-aaralan na sa mababang kapulungan ng kongreso (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — Pinag-aaralan na sa mababang kapulungan ng Kongreso ang pagpapataw ng dagdag na 10-porsiyentong buwis sa mga inuming may matataas na sugar contents tulad ng soft drinks, carbonated at sweetened drinks.

Ayon sa pagaaral, isang Pilipino ang namamatay kada isang segundo dahil sa mga komplikasyong dulot ng diabetes.

Sa pinakahuling tala ng World Health Organization (WHO), noong 2008 ay umabot na sa 3.5 milyong Pilipino ang may diabetes o isa sa kada limang Pilipino at posible pa itong lumobo sa 7.8 million sa taong 2030.

Sa House Bill No. 3365 na inihain ni Nueva Ecija Representative Estrellita Suansing, sinabi nito na isa sa pangunahing dahilan ng pagkakaroon ng iba’t ibang sakit gaya ng diabetes at obesity ay ang sobrang pag-inom ng soft drinks.

“We are not prohibiting the soft drinks here, we are just curving the consumption reducing the consumption because of the effect to the health,” paliwanag ng kongresista.

Batay sa pag-aaral ng University of the Philippines School of Economics, ang kalahating litro ng soft drinks ay katumbas ng 150-300 liters of water upang maalis ang mga toxic na dala nito sa katawan ng tao.

Ayon kay Suansing, sa pagpapataw ng 10-porsiyentong dagdag buwis sa soft drinks, carbonated at sweetened drinks ay bababa ng 8% ang consumption nito lalo na sa mga bata.

“No nutritional value to any of these drinks so as far as children is concern if we keep soft drinks, fruit juices, artificial drinks cheap children will have preference drinking these unhealthy beverages,” pahayag ni Dr. Cielo Magno, UP School of Economics.

Sa pagtaya naman ng Department of Finance, posibleng makakolekta ang bansa ng P10.77 bilyon kung maisasabatas ang panukalang dagdag buwis sa mga soft drink.

“This is based on the existing 2013 revenues of the large tax payers,” saad ni Finance Assistant Secretary Solidad Cruz.

Tumutol naman sa panukalang ito ang Beverage Industry Association of the Philippines (BIAP).

Ayon kay Atty. Adel Tamano ng BIAP, wala pang malinaw na pag-aaral sa relasyon ng pagpapataw ng dagdag na buwis sa pagpapababa sa kaso ng iba’t ibang uri ng sakit sa bansa.

Dagdag pa nito, posibleng magdulot pa ito ng negatibong epekto sa ekonomiya ng bansa.

Aniya, “Taxation is the wrong policy to address obesity and related health issues.”

Ayon sa author ng panukalang batas, sakaling maisabatas, ang lahat ng kikitain dito ay direktang mapupunta sa mga Pilipinong maaapektuhan ng kalamidad.

Sa susunod na pagdinig ng House Committee on Ways and Means ay ipatatawag nito ang mga kumpanyang nagbebenta ng mga nasabing produkto. (Grace Casin / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

BIR, DOF urged to extend deadline for ITR filing

Robie de Guzman   •   April 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Nancy Binay on Wednesday called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Department of Finance (DOF) to reconsider their decision not to extend the April 15 deadline for the filing and payment of annual income tax returns for the year 2020.

“I-extend na lang sana ang April 15 deadline, kahit na sa NCR Plus lang. We already extended last year dahil sa enhanced community quarantine. Nasa parehong sitwasyon tayo a year later, kaya hindi ko naiintindihan bakit hindi mapagbigyan,” Binay said in a statement.

BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa on Monday said the bureau would not be extending the deadline due to the government’s need to reach its revenue targets to fund the pandemic response.

As a relief for taxpayers, Dulay said the BIR will allow the filing of a tentative ITR before the deadline and give them until May 15 to amend the returns without penalties.

If overpayment of taxes will be made on the revised ITRs, the bureau said taxpayers can either file for a refund, or choose to carry over the overpaid tax as a credit against the tax due for the same tax type in the following period.

But Binay said individual taxpayers and even micro and small businesses would find it difficult to comply, in the first place, given the restrictions on movement.

“Ang talo kasi rito iyong mga indibidwal at maliliit na negosyo na limitado ang kapasidad na kumpletuhin ang mga requirements dahil sa lockdown. So para sa kanila, walang bearing ang no-penalty amendments dahil baka mismong pag-file hindi nila magawa,” she said.

The senator also said that even corporate taxpayers would be pressed for time in adjusting their payments to the lower rates provided as relief by the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law, which President Rodrigo Duterte only signed on March 26. The BIR released the law’s draft implementing rules and regulations on Tuesday.

Binay also stressed that a deadline extension does not mean non-payment.

“Hindi naman dahil extended ay hindi na magbabayad. Those who are able to will file and pay. Ang panawagan lang naman natin is not to penalize those who are unable to comply because of the difficulties presented by the lockdown,” she said.

Based on the BIR’s monthly collection goal, the agency aims to collect P235.237 billion in April.

The BIR said taxpayers or assigned officers can also use their electronic signatures in filing returns, attachments, and other documents needed, which will be considered as actual signatures.

It recently allowed taxpayers to file their returns and make payments anywhere, or even outside the area covered by Revenue District Offices where they are registered, without incurring penalties.

Not gov’t incompetence: COVID-19 case surge in PH attributed to ‘multiple factors’ – WHO

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the Philippines is attributed to ‘multiple factors’ and is not caused by government incompetence, an official of the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

During a Palace briefing on Monday, WHO country representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe said a country’s testing capacity, population, and health systems capacity affect the decline or increase of infections.

“So, what will be more accurate is to look at the incidence rates or the number of cases per 100,000 or 1 million population, this would be going to point where the Philippines actually is,” Abeyasinghe said.

“But again, there are multiple factors that affect the transmission in a country because countries are different from each other,” he added.

The WHO official also stressed that other countries have also experienced a significant uptick in COVID-19 cases, prompting governments to reimpose restrictions even in nations that are doing extensive vaccination.

“I would want to reiterate the fact that the Philippines is not unique in seeing an increase, and this increase is not attributed in any way to incompetence,” Abeyasinghe said.

“We are seeing a week-on-week increase in the number of cases worldwide, not just here in the Philippines, in nearly all of WHO’s six regions, we are seeing an increase of cases week-by-week over the last four weeks,” he added.

Abeyasinghe’s remark comes after some critics questioned the Philippine government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 803,398 COVID-19 cases with 646,237 recoveries and 13,435 fatalities. Of the total cases, 143,726 are active.

The WHO official said that the increased transmissibility due to new coronavirus variants, along with the gradual reduction in compliance with health protocols due to pandemic fatigue, optimism in the arrival and roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines also contribute to the surge in infections.

“The increase is not attributed in any way to a lack of competence. It is an issue related to the factors I have mentioned,” Abyasinghe said.

“Of course, that does not take away from the fact that we need to continue to invest and work towards strengthening our preparedness and response capacities on the ground,”  he added.

The national government placed the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna – called NCR Plus – under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 29 to April 4 in a bid to stem the surge in infections.

It was later extended to April 11.

Aside from the NCR Plus, President Rodrigo Duterte also placed Quirino Province and Santiago City in Isabela under modified ECQ while the Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur under general community quarantine (GCQ) for the month of April.

The rest of the country was placed under modified GCQ.

 

BSP issues digital banking license for Overseas Filipino Bank

Robie de Guzman   •   April 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank) has officially become the first branchless digital-only bank in the country’s history after securing a digital banking license from the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

OFBank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK), secured a digital banking license last March 25, the DOF said in a statement on Monday.

Prior to that, the bank was able to commence its banking operations in June last year using its then-existing license to operate as a thrift bank.

OFBank, under Executive Order (EO) No. 44 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in September 2017, was created to establish a policy bank dedicated to providing financial products and services tailored to the requirements of overseas Filipinos.

“This milestone in the country’s banking history not only fulfills President Duterte’s campaign pledge to create a bank that caters to overseas Filipinos but will also help the Philippines leapfrog to the digital economy,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.

“When President Duterte said he would create a bank that would serve overseas-based Filipinos, he wanted a bank that would be a trailblazer in terms of modernizing and expanding the scope of the services it offers to them,” he added.

OFBank was launched virtually in June last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the Philippines’ first branchless and digital-centric government bank, the DOF said.

While fine-tuning its operations, systems, and processes to enable its official transition into a digital bank, OFBank operated as a thrift bank, the DOF said.

In December 2020, the BSP issued Circular No. 1105 containing the guidelines on the establishment of digital banks, clearing the way for OFBank to apply for a license as a digital bank.

OFBank offers four digital products and services that include a digital onboarding system with artificial intelligence (DOBSAI), which allows the real-time opening of a mobile banking deposit account on supported iPhone or Android devices.

Aside from deposit savings accounts, OFBank’s digital services also include fund transfers, bill payments, and applications for multi-purpose loans, the DOF said.

OFBank’s global digital reach spans 112 countries, with its clients able to access online the services of 763 merchants onboarded in its mobile application via the LinkBiz.Portal, it added.

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