House committee goes after vape firm

February 21, 2024 Jester P. Manalastas 457 views

AFTER uncovering violations of the country’s landmark vaping law aimed at protecting minors, the House committee on ways and means has called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as well as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to immediately cancel the business permit and manufacturing license of Flava Corporation.

The committee report has been approved by the House panel.

Based on the result of the hearing, the popular vape brand has been found allegedly marketing its vaping devices to minors through social media, which was against the thrust of RA 11900.

One of recommendations of the committee is the revocation of the business license and permit of Flava Corporation for violations of RA 11900.

The panel urged DTI to conduct surveillance and initiate the confiscation and removal of all Flava vapor products and electronic cigarettes from the market.

House Committee on ways and means Chair and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda also urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate Flava for alleged violation of the Revised Corporation Code.

The House panel also found that despite Flava’s separate registration with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as a manufacturer, the company had instead been importing from China the vaping products it sells here in the Philippines.

During the committee hearing held in December of last year, Flava’s executives claimed that they only imported vapes through Denkat Trading Corporation, which is said to be the biggest vape distributor in the country. Denkat had denied importing on behalf of Flava.

“Based on the facts and evidence obtained by the Committee, it appears clear that Flava Corporation has no existing capacity to manufacture the products marketed under its brands. If Flava… imported the products, it shall have violated its brand registration with the BIR,” it added.

Likewise, the House panel urged the BIR to immediately suspend Flava’s business operations, as well as issue a mission order against the company for failure to pay correct taxes.

Cagayan de Oro City Second District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez had estimated up to P728 million in foregone tax revenues from the alleged technical smuggling of P1.43-billion worth of illicit Flava electronic cigarettes last year.