'Unlimited' soda stops flowing at retailer after new taxes

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2018 12:30 PM

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MANILA - Membership shopping chain S&R appeared to have stopped selling soda in "unlimited" quantities as the government implemented higher excise taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks.

A signboard in one S&R branch read: "Effective 1st of January 2018, we will discontinue serving unlimited soda due to sugar tax reform law."

The company declined to comment when contacted by ABS-CBN News.

Under the first package of tax reforms that took effect on Jan. 1, a P6 per liter excise tax will be imposed on drinks with caloric and non-caloric sweeteners while a higher P12 per liter tax will be charged for drinks with high fructose corn syrup.

Small businesses and community stores selling softdrinks and energy drinks earlier said they would increase prices by around P2 per 300 ml bottle.

"Ang pinakamabili kasi ay yung mga softdrinks so talagang affected yung mga tindahan namin. Kapag mataas siya, sigurado 'yung sales namin bigla din bababa kung bigla naming itataas," said Francis Salud, a sari-sari store owner.

(Softdrinks are one of our most salable products. Our sales will definitely decrease if we suddenly hike prices.)

Sen JV Ejercito, vice chairman of the Senate finance committee, told softdrinks manufacturers not to hike prices for products that were produced before the new tax took effect on Jan. 1.

- with a report from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News.