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Marcos wants all prescription medicines exempted from VAT

/ 06:19 PM December 12, 2019
Sen. Imee Marcos

Sen. Imee Marcos. INQUIRER.net file photo / CATHY MIRANDA

MANILA, Philippines — All prescription medicine should be exempted from value-added tax (VAT), Senator Imee Marcos said on Thursday.

“Sa akin bakit hindi tanggalin na yung VAT sa lahat ng prescription medicines,” Marcos told reporters in an interview.

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(Why don’t we remove the VAT from all the prescription medicines.)

“Bakit hindi na tanggalin ang VAT sa lahat ng gamot kasi wala naman talagang gustong magkasakit at mangailangan ng gamot so let’s do that first of all…at least bigyan natin ng konting tulong ang tao,” Marcos added.

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(Why don’t we remove VAT from all medicines because no one wants to get sick and to have to buy medicine so let’s do that first of all…at least let’s help the public a little bit).

Marcos pointed out that the government had already earlier exempted medication for diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension.

“Kaya pala tanggalin ang VAT e para dun. E di tanggalin na sa ibang gamot din…Para naman yang naging luxury item,” she said.

(VAT can be removed from prescriptive medicine after all. Why don’t we remove other medicine as well…It seems that we’re making it seem like a luxury item).

“Kasi diba yung unang TRAIN law natanggal yung mga para sa maintenance, e wala namang nangyari di naman bumagsak ang langit e,” she added.

(The TRAIN law earlier exempted maintenance medication, nothing happened, the sky did not fall).

The senator was referring to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law which exempted diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension medication from the imposition of VAT.

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“Ang punot dulo nitong tax increases na to na tataas ang presyo sa beer, sa alcohol, sa gin, pati na rin ang sigarilyo, yung e-cigarettes, ang punot dulo nito, pinopondohan natin ang ating unversal health care,” she went on.

(The proposed tax increases on liquor products, on alcohol, on gin, even e-cigarettes, stemmed from the need to fund the universal health care).

“Lahat tayo nadidismaya sa DOH kasi ang katotohan…hanggang nagayon hindi pa natin alam kung magkano talaga ang halaga at ano ba ang roll out niyan, anong ilalabas kada taon, kaya ba nila yan o mauuwi na naman sa expired medicine na nakatambak sa bodega. Yan ang problema natin,” she added.

(We are all dismayed with the DOH because the truth is…until now, we don’t know the real cost of the universal health care, when exactly is the roll out, how much will be released each year, can they do it or will it the medicine end up expired and stored in storage warehouses. That’s our problem).

The Senate is currently tackling a bill that would impose higher excise tax on liquor, heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes that would help with funding the universal health care.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the universal health care into law last February.

Edited by JPV
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TAGS: Department of Health, Imee Marcos, Local news, Nation, news, Philippine news update, Senate, Universal Health Care, value added tax
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