Bicam approves proposed add’l taxes on cigarettes, salty foods, alcohol, vapor products

Maris Federez   •   December 18, 2019   •   665

MANILA, Philippines— The two chambers of Congress have agreed on the final version of the Sin Tax Law.

The Bicameral Conference Committee on Wednesday (Dec. 18) approved the bill that proposes an additional tax on cigarettes, salty foods, alcohol and vapor products.

The bill provides for the application of the additional tax on fermented products from Php 35 in 2020 to Php 43 by the year 2024, while distilled products will be imposed with P35 to 66 taxes, wines with added Php 50 tax, and heated tobacco with additional Php 25 in the coming year.

The bicam has also approved the provision that prevents selling to vape products to buyers who are 21 years old and below.

“Kung ikaw ay hindi pa 21, definitely hindi pwede, tatanungin ka pa, nagyoyosi ka ba, kapag hindi ka nagyoyosi hindi ka pwede,” said House Committee on Ways and Means chairman, Rep. Joey Salceda.

This measure seeks to collect Php 24.9-Million taxes, and such will be used in the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act.

“I think all the health advocates sana mas mataas pa as a revenue measure, I had also hope na mas mataas,” Senate Committee on Ways and Means chair Pia Cayetano added.

The approved bill also provided for a clearer rule on VAT exemptions on medicines for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

And by 2023, medicines for mental health, cancer, and tuberculosis will also be VAT-exempt. — (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

FDA reports case of heart blockage in teen after using vape juice with Cannabis

Marje Pelayo   •   January 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday (January 6) released their findings on the life-threatening case of a 17-year-old male that had a history of vaping with cannabinol, a psychoactive cannabinoid or byproduct of Cannabis or marijuana.

According to FDA, a group of doctors from Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) contacted the agency in early 2020 after the patient experienced seizures and a low heart rate of 23 bpm although he had no known risk factors for heart or neurological disease.

It was later determined that the teenager had a history of using vape juice labeled ‘Gluttony Mamon’ which tested positive for the presence of cannabinol and tetrahydocannabinol, both derived from Cannabis or marijuana.

A brand sample was submitted to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) which verified the presence of the dangerous substance.

Liquid Cannabis is considered a dangerous drug under Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002”.

The FDA warns the public against the purchase and consumption of Electronic Nicotine Delivery System and Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS/ENNDS) products commonly known as vapes that may pose potential health risks.

In an earlier advisory, the Agency already requested law enforcement agencies and Local Government Units (LGUs) to ensure that the said product is not sold or made available in the market or areas of their jurisdiction. —MNP / Raymund David

Bicam approves proposed 2021 national budget

Robie de Guzman   •   December 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The bicameral conference committee on Wednesday approved the final version of the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021, which is seen to drive the country’s pandemic and calamity response and recovery efforts.

The spending bill includes a P72.5 billion allocation for the purchase of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.

Of this allotment, P2.5 billion is allocated for the vaccines under the programmed funds of the Department of Health (DOH) while the P70 billion is placed under the unprogrammed appropriations, dependent on the availability of actual government funds.

Senator Sonny Angara, chairperson of Senate committee on finance and head of the upper chamber’s contingent in the bicameral conference, said that although much of the vaccines for budget was unprogrammed, the Department of Finance gave assurance it will be funded depending on the availability of government revenues.

“Ang akala kasi ng iba, ‘pag unprogrammed, hindi siya mapo-pondohan. It’s not true. But the probability of it being funded is large. We’re assured by the DOF na mapopondohan talaga ‘yun,” he said.

Aside from the allotment of P72.5 billion in the spending bill, Angara said the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) also provides P10 billion for COVID-19 vaccines.

The Bayanihan 2 is set to lapse on December 19 so lawmakers are moving to extend its validity until March or June 2021.

Both chambers of Congress are also planning to extend the validity of the 2020 General Appropriations Act until June or December 2021 for the implementation of programs and projects funded under the measure that was delayed due to the pandemic.

The budget bill also set aside funds for infrastructure projects for projects ravaged by recent typhoons.

The approved version of the budget also retained the P19-billion funding of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Lawmakers are eyeing to submit the 2021 budget bill to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing before December 25.

The bicam version of the budget bill has to be ratified first by both the Senate and the House before it can be submitted to the Office of President. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

BOC destroys hazardous, unsafe goods worth P10-M

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 23, 2020

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has destroyed P10 million worth of hazardous, unsafe products that were illegally imported.

The BOC-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) reported another 24.6 tons of vape products, cosmetics, expired medicines/supplements, and other hazardous and unsafe goods were destroyed through the thermal decomposer (Pyrolysis) facility of the Integrated Waste Management Inc., in Cavite on October 17 and 19.

The said goods were imported without necessary Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registration and permits.

Port of NAIA District Collector Carmelita M. Talusan, in a statement, said the proceedings aim to address perennial congestion problems of customs facilities on abandoned and illegally shipped items. AAC

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.