(Editor's Note: This story was updated to include a comment from the Department of Finance)
MANILA - (UPDATE) Malnutrition among Filipino children will worsen if milk is included in the list of sugar-sweetened drinks that will be subjected to excise tax, an industry group said on Tuesday.
The Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers said it "strongly supports the exclusion of milk products" from the coverage of the P10 excise tax.
Finance undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said milk will not be taxed under the bill passed by the House of Representatives last May.
Supporters of the tax on sugar-sweetened drinks said the measure will help in the fight against obesity.
Should milk be taxed, the chamber said prices could rise by around 30 percent, making them unaffordable for the poor.
Countries with taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages have also excluded milk, the group said.
Another industry group, the Beverage Industry Association of the Philippines, earlier said the tax should be based on the sugar content, instead of on the volume of the finished drink.