Statement of Senator Pia S. Cayetano
Principal sponsor, Sin Tax Law of 2020 (RA 11467)
I have received reliable information that the enrolled copy of the Vape Bill was officially transmitted to Malacañang by the House just this Friday, June 24, with barely three working days left before the term of outgoing President Rodrigo R. Duterte ends.
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.
Despite the shortness of time, the President and his team can act on this before noon of June 30, when President Duterte’s term ends. Relevant agencies – including the Department of Health (DOH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and even the Department of Education (DepEd) have expressed their position to VETO the Vape Bill!
I reiterate my call and echo the appeal of medical associations and health groups, including DOH, FDA, and DepEd, for the President to veto the Vape Bill as one of his final acts of service to Filipinos. I know our President as a staunch health and anti-smoking advocate.
If passed, the Vape Bill that is masquerading as a health bill will promote vaping and overturn the protective measures we fought for under the Sin Tax Law, namely: (1) regulation is transferred from FDA to DTI; (2) minimum age of access to vapes is lowered from 21 to 18; and (3) more flavors allowed, instead of just plain tobacco and menthol.
It’s shocking, to say the least, if we consider how differently the US is addressing this vape pandemic. The US FDA recently banned Juul, and yet, here in the Philippines, we will loosen the restrictions by making the Vape Bill a law?
Ang Presidente ay Pangulo ng Pilipinas hanggang 11:59 ng Hunyo 30. Hanggang sa huling saglit ay umaasa ako na ipaglalaban nya ang kalusugan ng Pilipino. And this the President can do by vetoing the Vape Bill. Mahal na Pangulo wag n’yo pong pabayaan ang Pilipino. Veto the Vape Bill. #