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DOH lauds Duterte’s signing of higher sin tax

/ 04:08 PM January 23, 2020
Secretary Francisco Duque III

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. INQUIRER file photo / Ryan Leagogo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) lauded on Thursday President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of Republic Act No. 11467 that increases the excise tax on alcoholic beverages, electronic cigarettes, and heated tobacco products (HTPs).

The RA 11467, signed into law on Wednesday and amends the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, will also allow the regulation of e-cigarettes and HTPs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as exemption of the importation and sale of certain prescription drugs and medicines from value-added tax (VAT).

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“This is a win-win situation for all. This will give us an enormous strategic advantage in reducing non-communicable diseases and providing the necessary restrictions in the accessibility and availability of harmful products, especially among the youth,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

He added it is high-time that novel tobacco products are properly regulated “to enforce sensible public health standards and protect the health of the people.”

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The law likewise provides for the expansion of VAT exemptions on the sale and importation of prescription drugs for diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, cancer, mental illness, tuberculosis, and kidney diseases.

“As medicines become cheaper, more Filipinos would be able to afford life-saving medicines without worrying about financial risk. DOH is vigorously monitoring and reviewing the prices of pharmaceutical products to ensure the most affordable medicines for our people,” said Duque.

“All in all, this works really well in laying the foundations for Universal Health Care. Taxing and regulating harmful products work both as a means to reduce consumption of harmful products, at the same time as a source of additional revenue for the implementation of the UHC Law,” he added.

Edited by JPV
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TAGS: DoH, Duque, Republic Act No. 11467, Sin tax
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