Sugar sector hopes to get TRAIN revenue share

Published February 2, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


The local sugar industry has expressed optimism it can finally get its fair share of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) revenues two years since the law was passed.

In a statement, industry leaders from organizations like Tatak Kalamay and National Federation of Sugar Planters (NFSP) has welcomed the planned inquiry introduced by Nueva Ecija Representative Estrellita Suansing and Abang Lingkod Representative Stephen Paduano for the Department of Finance (DOF) to give the portion of the revenue from the TRAIN Law that was intended for sugar farmers.

Paduano said that even just a 10 percent share from the excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) would be very helpful to the local sugar industry.

In November, Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Board Member Emilio Yulo said that, until now, the local sugar industry has not benefited from the SSB tax.

Excise tax on SSBs is one of the taxes imposed under TRAIN or Republic Act (RA) No. 10963, which took effect on January 1, 2018.

Previously untaxed, SSBs are now slapped a tax rate of P6 per liter, while drinks with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) were taxed ₱12 per liter.

Under the law, not more than 30 percent of TRAIN’s incremental revenues should go to programs of Sugarcane Industry Development Act of 2015 (SIDA) “to advance the self-reliance of sugar farmers that will increase productivity, provide livelihood opportunities, develop alternative farming systems and ultimately enhance farmers’ income.”

Yulo said the SRA intends to seek clarity as to how this should work since it wasn’t specified in the law how the SSB tax revenue will be injected into SIDA or any other programs in the local sugar industry.