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People's Journal

People's Journal

Perfect tea for you

HEALTH buffs believe that drinking tea boosts the body’s immune system and fights free radicals because of anti-oxidants in tea.

The processing of tea leaves determines the contents of bioactive ingredients. Each variety of tea whether black, red or green, contains a different package of compounds of physiological importance.

Taste and aroma are the usual factors that make  branded tea pricey and this also affects consumers’ preferences with regard to tea of their choice.

However, consumers do not pay much attention to the chemical composition and nutritional value of tea. For them, as long as it is a tea, it is nutritious.

The National Health Institutes conducted an assessment of the nutritional value of black, green and white high-quality tea leaf from Chinese plantations based on the chemical composition of the dried leaves as well as minerals and caffeine content in tea infusions.

Scientists analyzed dried tea leaves of their chemical composition (contents of water, protein, volatile substances and ash) and assessed selected minerals and caffeine contents in the tea infusions.

They found that high-quality Chinese green teas have the most valuable composition of minerals, like the highest contents of zinc (Zn), Manganese (Mn), Magnesium (Mg), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca) and Aluminum (Al).
    
They also found highest contents of protein in comparison to the other products. Chinese black teas had the highest contents of total ash and caffeine and white teas were characterized with high content of volatile substances, similar to the black teas, and the highest content of water and the lowest content of total ash.
    
The next time you want to brew or steep a cup of tea, choose one with mineral balance and valuable elements for your health.

Tax take from sugary drinks to hit P52B

Expected revenues from excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is seen to contribute some P52.03 billion to government coffers this 2018.

Department of Finance (DOF) data showed that based on the medium-term revenue program, excise tax from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) is the fourth largest revenue contributor among excise taxes in the country.

Under Package 1 of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), otherwise known as Republic Act (RA) No. 10963), drinks using sugar and artificial sweeteners will have an excise tax of P6  per liter while it is P12 per liter for drinks that use high fructose corn syrup.

Exempted, however, from this law are all kinds of milk, 3-in-1 coffee products, natural fruit and vegetable juices, and medically-indicated beverages.

SSB excise tax is not part of the revenues set under the medium term program.

DOF, in an explanation on its website, said the excise tax on SSB “will help promote a healthier Philippines” since it discourages the public from consuming sugar-sweetened beverages that boost their chances of being obese or have diabetes or worsens the situation of those who already have the disease.
    
“This is a measure that is meant to encourage consumption of healthier products, to raise public awareness of the harms of SSBs, and to help incentivize the industry to develop healthier products and complements,” it said.
    
Total excise taxes expected to be collected this year amount to about P300.208 billion.
    
Bulk of these were programmed to be collected from tobacco products, P126.969 billion; followed by alcoholic products, P56.23 billion; and tobacco products, P52.282 billion.
    
SSB excise tax was programmed to have the fourth largest collection followed by those from automobiles, P7.029 billion; fuels and oils, P5.398 billion; miscellaneous, PHP158 billion; cosmetic procedures, P100 million; and tobacco inspection fee, P11 million.
    
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has repeatedly stressed this confidence to collect the programmed revenues as major collecting agencies.

For 2018, BIR revenue goal was set at PHP2.039 trillion, about 11.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), while BOC’s target is PHP627 billion.

  • Published in Business

ASEAN-wide promotions of agri coops pushed

The Philippines on Tuesday called for increased collaboration with other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in promoting agricultural cooperatives deemed important for poverty reduction in the region.

Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Orlando Ravanera made the call as the country hosts the 7th ASEAN Cooperative Business Forum to provide opportunity for learning exchange and cooperation towards enhancing ASEAN economic collaboration through agricultural cooperatives.

“There is a remarkable economic growth in this part of the world, in Asia, as growing region. (But) how can you reconcile the reality that in Asia, 560 million are below the poverty line. Along that line, you know that the great equalizer is cooperativism,” he said in a press briefing.

Ravanera cited as an example the Philippines which is producing the number one coffee in the world, but remains a top importer of coffee.

He said cooperatives are now following value chain in producing various agricultural products.
    
Data indicated there are now some 26,600 cooperatives in the Philippines with some 14 million members.

  • Published in Business

Lawmakers assail Meralco monopoly

IN defense of the interest of Filipino citizens, Anakpawis partylist Rep. Ariel ‘Ka Ayik’ Casilao said that it is time for the government to end the monopoly of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

In an interview, Casilao, who is a member of the Makabayan bloc in the Lower Chamber of Congress, slammed Meralco’s monopoly over the country’s power distribution industry.

“Sa maraming taon na nakalipas, kitang-kita ang pamamayagpag ng Meralco hanggang sa puntong nagagawang pagmalabisan nito hindi lamang ang kanilang milyon-milyong customers kundi maging ang batas at mismong ang gobyerno,” Casilao said.

He cited as an example the times when Meralco’s increase in power rates was questioned and which even reached the Supreme Court.

“Nagmimistulang inutil ang Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) sa pagrenda sa iba’t ibang pang-aabusong ginagawa ng Meralco kabilang na ang hindi makatuwirang power rate adjustment, gayundin ang ginagawang ‘overcharging’ o sobrang paniningil sa Kuryente,” he said.

“Kung hindi dahil sa mga petisyong naisasampa natin sa Korte Suprema, talagang binabalewala ng Meralco ang ERC at lumilitaw pa na walang silbi ang ahensiyang ito ng pamahalaan para masigurong hindi nagsasamantala ang Meralco,” the solon added.

Casilao noted the petition submitted before the High Tribunal by partylist groups Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party and ACT Teachers, all of whom are part of the Makabayan bloc, questioning Meralco’s plan for  a P4.15 per kilowatt-hour price hike.
          
The Meralco claims that it was forced to buy more costly electricity from other power producing plants after the Malampaya  natural gas platform underwent maintenance shutdown from Nov. 10 to Dec. 11, 2013.
          
The partylist petitioners however said the power utility’s request for a power rate hike violates the provisions of Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).
          
They cited in particular the prohibition ordering the ERC to ensure wide electricity supply and reasonable power price as part of protecting public interest.
          
The Supreme Court sided with the petition against Meralco and ordered the power company to give a refund on the additional P2 per kilowatt hour it implemented in December 2013, affecting some three million customers.
          
Casilao said the government could stop Meralco’s abuse by repealing the EPIRA Law.
          
“Our position with regards to power industry sector is extreme. That power generation up to power distribution must be under the government. Dapat ang pamahalaan ang namamahala, nagkokontrol at siyang may responibilidad sa sektor ng enerhiya sa ating bansa. Dahil talagang naabuso at pagkamal lamang ng pera o kita ang mangyayari kung ito ay ipapaubaya sa mga kapitalista,” the lawmaker added.
 
Casilao also appealed to Congress leaders to act on their appeal for the repeal of EPIRA to finally solve the hitches in the local power industry and end the suffering of Filipinos regarding their electricity bills.

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