Sen. Pia Cayetano bares ‘late hour’ transmittal of vape bill to Malacañang
MANILA, Philippines — Citing “reliable information,” Senator Pia Cayetano has revealed that the enrolled copy of the Vape Bill was already submitted to Malacañang for signature last June 24 – a move that she described as a “devious attempt to evade scrutiny by the outgoing administration.”
Cayetano pointed out that the transmittal of the bill was done just three working days before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in office ends by noon on June 30.
“Five months have passed since the Senate and House approved the bicameral version of the Vape Bill on January 26. And so clearly, the transmittal of the bill at this late hour is a devious attempt to evade scrutiny by the outgoing administration, and to get the bill passed on to the next administration,” she said in a statement on Monday.
“Despite the shortness of time,” the senator said the President and his team could still act on the bill at noon of June 30.
“Ang Presidente ay Pangulo ng Pilipinas hanggang 11:59 ng Hunyo 30. Hanggang sa huling saglit ay umaasa ako na ipaglalaban niya ang kalusugan ng Pilipino,” she said.
(The Philippine President has until 11:59 p.m. of June 30. I hope he will fight to the very end for the Filipinos’ health.)
“And this the President can do by vetoing the Vape Bill. Mahal na Pangulo huwag ninyo pong pabayaan ang Pilipino. Veto the Vape Bill,” Cayetano further said.
She reiterated and echoed the appeal of medical associations and health groups, including the Department of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Education, for Duterte to veto the bill “as one of his final acts of service to Filipinos.”
“I know our President as a staunch health and anti-smoking advocate,” Cayetano said.
If enacted into law, the senator warned that the measure “masquerading” as a health bill will promote vaping and overturn the protective measures they fought for under the Sin Tax Law.
“It’s shocking, to say the least, if we consider how differently the US is addressing this vape pandemic,” she said. “The US FDA recently banned Juul, and yet, here in the Philippines, we will loosen the restrictions by making the Vape Bill a law?”
Cayetano and outgoing Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan voted against the bill in the upper chamber.
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