House panel to probe BIR, FDA failure to implement tax on sweetened beverages

Published November 28, 2020, 10:53 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The House Committee on Ways and Means is expected to grill next week the officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over their failure to “effectively” implement the provisions of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN), particularly the collection of tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), and the disbursement of incremental revenues to intended recipients.

MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO

Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, vice chairperson of the panel, bared that the probe on the implementation of Section 150-B of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997, as amended by Republic Act No. 10963, otherwise known as the TRAIN, will be held on Dec. 1.

She made the announcement during the panel’s recent virtual meeting.

“I requested for Commissioner (Caesar) Dulay of BIR, and Director General (Rolando Enrique) Domingo of FDA. I will be on top of this for their failure to implement the law effectively. Pinaghirapan ko ito tapos palpak ang implementation (I worked hard for this, however, the implementation was a failure),” Suansing, one of the principal authors of the TRAIN law, said.

She said the BIR and FDA should update the House on the status of the implementation of RA No. 10963, which was approved on Dec. 19, 2017, as the first of the five packages of President Duterte’s tax reform program.

Section 150-B under Chapter 6 of the NIRC, as amended by TRAIN, provides for the collection of tax on sweetened beverages at a rate of P6 and P12, depending on the type of sweetener used, the House leader noted.

She noted that the date of effectivity of such provision is Jan. 1, 2018.

Suansing said Section 150-B of the NIRC, as amended by RA No. 10963, provides for the specific responsibility of the FDA and mandates the BIR Commissioner to ensure the payment of excise tax on sweetened beverages.

“There is a need to ascertain if the government agencies and instrumentalities concerned are performing their respective duties and responsibilities in accordance with Section 150-B of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended by Republic Act No. 10963 or TRAIN,” she said.

“There is a need to ensure that the other provisions of Section 150-B of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended by Republic Act No. 10963 or TRAIN, is being properly implemented,” she added.

Suansing and her husband, Sultan Kudarat Rep. Horacio Suansing Jr., authored House Resolution No. 227 calling on the House Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, to look into the implementation of Section 150-B of the NIRC, as amended by TRAIN.

 
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