The Department of Health (DOH) lauds President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of Republic Act No. (RA) 11467, a law that increases the excise tax on alcohol products, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), and heated tobacco products (HTPs).
RA 11467, which was signed into law yesterday, also introduced regulation of e-cigarettes and HTPs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and exemption of the importation and sale of certain prescription drugs and medicines from value-added tax (VAT). 
“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,” said Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III. 
In addition to making alcohol, tobacco and novel tobacco product derivatives less affordable, the legislation reinforces the regulatory purview of the FDA over e-cigarettes and HTPs. 
“It is high time that novel tobacco products are properly regulated to enforce sensible public health standards and protect the health of the people,” said Duque. 
The law also 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, which was hailed by the Department as beneficial to the Filipino people.
“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,” the Health Chief said. 
“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.” the Health Secretary concluded.