Not so sweet for ‘sari-sari’ store owners
Dear President Duterte,
We hope this letter finds you in good health. We, the members of the Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners, humbly appeal to you on behalf of the 1.3 million sari-sari store owners all over the Philippines. We are one in our continued support of your administration’s efforts to alleviate the lives of the poor, as well as fight the war on drugs and criminality in our society.
We are also one in our fight against the inclusion of the sugar-sweetened beverage tax (SSB tax) in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act.
This bill proposes to add an excise tax of up to P10 on SSBs which include our fast-moving goods like powdered juices, energy drinks, and soft drinks. Forty percent of our store’s daily sales is from these products—a huge part of our daily income for subsistence. If this bill is passed into law, our sales will surely drop and we can lose a viable source of additional income for our household. We are saddened to think that most of us will be forced to close our stores because we will not be earning substantially to help our families.
We understand and support our government’s need to raise money for its various social and infrastructure programs to help improve the lives of the Filipino people and sustain the country’s economic growth. But we appeal to you, please do not let this bill pass. This bill is anti-poor. Please do not let our microretailers, consumers, sugar and coffee farmers, and manufacturing plant workers carry the burden.
President Duterte, we appeal to you together with all of our members and all of the sari-sari store owners, please listen to our plea and help us in our fight against the SSB tax.
VICKY AGUINALDO, president, Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners
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