MANILA, Philippines – Health advocates yesterday gave their full support for the immediate passage of the “soda tax” measure.
Irene Reyes, Health Justice managing director, said the proposed measure would help curb the high prevalence of childhood obesity in the country.
“This is definitely a step in the right direction. Three out of 10 Filipinos are obese. Childhood obesity is likewise increasing. It does not help that soft drinks are still very cheap and accessible especially to children in school,” Reyes said in a statement.
She said the 8th National Nutrition Survey showed that the percentage of overweight children aged five to 10 in the Philippines rose from one percent in 1989 to five percent in 2013.
Under the proposed measure, the government will impose taxes on every kind of sugar-sweetened beverage. every year.
If enacted into law, Reyes said, the government could generate revenues for health, education and local governments.