Proposed law to give 100% free meds to poor

Senator Sonny Angara lauded the government for coming out with regulations on the value-added tax (VAT) exemption of medicines which is set to take effect next month, but urged authorities to ensure that it is fully implemented to make essential prescription drugs accessible and affordable.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has issued Revenue Regulations No. 25-2018 recently exempting medicines for diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension from VAT, pursuant to Republic Act 10963.

This provision, introduced by Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, is to take effect on January 1, 2019.

"Ako po ay natutuwa dahil mayroon ng implementing guidelines na magpapatupad ng VAT exemption. Ibig sabihin nito ay bababa ang presyo ng ilang mahahalagang gamot na ginagamit ng ating kababayan," Angara said.

"Dahil sa mahal ng gamot, kadalasang hindi nasusunod ang reseta ng doktor kaya naaantala ang paggaling. Dapat maipatupad na ito nang maayos ng pamahalaan para mapakinabangan na ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino ang mas abot-kayang mga gamot," he added.
With the VAT exemption, type 2 diabetes patients who are taking Metformin--which costs P15 per tablet--twice a day can save around P1,300 in a year.

Angara also authored laws granting senior citizens and persons with disability (PWDs) VAT exemption on the purchase of medicines, on top of their 20-percent discount.

"Sa ilalim ng batas, hindi lamang ang ating mga senior at PWD ang makatitipid sa gamot. This is a huge step in making essential medicines more accessible to all Filipinos," said Angara, one of the authors of the Universal Health Care bill, which mandates PhilHealth to provide free check-ups and laboratory tests.

Angara is also pushing for the passage of Senate Bill 972 that seeks to establish a "Libreng Gamot Program" mandating all government health facilities to give free medicines to the poor.

SOURCE: ANGARA URGES GOV'T TO ENSURE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF VAT-FREE MEDICINES. Senate of the Philippines. Press Release on December 29, 2018. https://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2018/1229_angara1.asp

Popular Posts