House okays bill exempting from tax medical oxygen, COVID supplies

September 1, 2021 Jester P. Manalastas 178 views

THE House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a measure that exempt from any tax obligations the medical supplies such as oxygen.

House Bill No. 8895 got unanimous votes from the members of the House and its approval was rushed due to the request of President Rodrigo Duterte for Congress to pass such a measure.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco expressed gratitude to the members of the Lower Chamber for their prompt action on the measure.

He said this is one way to help medical frontliners in responding to the health crisis brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The bill exempts the manufacture, importation, sale, and donation of critical medical supplies and essential goods during public health emergencies.

The bill also mandates the Secretary of Health and Secretary of Finance to draw up the list of goods subject to exemption.

The exemptions will require the declaration of a public health emergency by the President after December 2023, but will be in effect until then.

Critical medical products refer to vaccines and other necessary medicines to contain public health emergencies.

Essential goods refer to personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns, masks, goggles, and face shields; surgical equipment and supplies; laboratory equipment and its reagents; medical equipment and devices; support and maintenance for laboratory and medical equipment, surgical equipment and supplies; medical supplies, tools, and consumables such as alcohols, sanitizers, tissue papers, thermometers, hand soaps, detergents, sodium hypochlorite, cleaning materials, povidone iodine; testing kits, and such other supplies or equipment as may be determined by the Department of Health (DOH) and other relevant government agencies.