Senators outrightly rejected the plan of the Department of Health (DOH) to propose imposing taxes on food with high salt content including ‘tuyo’ and ‘daing.’
Senator Imee Marcos said the DOH should tax the big companies instead of picking on the food of the poor people.
“Pagkain ng mahirap ang tuyo at daing! ‘Wag naman! “ she said.
“Why don’t they just tax big companies like telco, mining, which are not following the law, the big time oil importers and others,” she said.
She noted that the government can generate huge funds from these companies.
Senators Panfilo Lacson and Francis Tolentino said they will not support such proposal and will even oppose it.
“Patawarin sana nila mga pagkain ng mahihirap,” said Lacson.
If the issue is health, Lacson said the DOH should focus their research on unhealthy foods of the rich and affluent.
“I’m sure there are many,” Lacson said.
Tolentino said he would also not support the proposal because salt is needed to maintain proper fluid balance and relax muscle fibers.
“Although too much of everything is bad—salt is not bad per se. Kung pati daing ita-tax, kawawa lalo na ang mahihirap na mangingisda!” he said.
Minority Leader Franklin Drilon gave a “no” answer when asked if he would support the DOH plan.
DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Eric Domingo earlier said there’s nothing concrete yet but they are studying the possibility of taxing food with too much salt.
He cited the experience of several countries showed that taxing on unhealthy food led to reduced consumption and pushed companies to reformulate their products.
Domingo added too much salt in the diet could cause hypertension, heart and kidney diseases.