Imported supplies vs COVID-19 to be released 'right away,' finance dept says


Posted at Apr 02 2020 03:20 PM

MANILA -- The Department of Finance said Thursday imported medical gear to fight COVID-19 would be released "right away" following the issuance of guidelines for tax free importation.

The tax exemptions cover personal protective equipment, COVID-19 test kits, medical and laboratory equipment and other supplies for frontliners against the disease, the DOF said.

"In line with our goal to support the efforts of our frontliners to combat this disease, the DOF is making sure that PPEs and medical supplies that are coming in are to be released right away from Customs and delivered to where medical aid is greatly needed," Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said.

"During these difficult times, we have to prioritize measures to facilitate the steady supply of medical products to protect and support our healthcare workers in doing their job of saving their fellow Filipinos from this pandemic," he said.

Hospitals have flagged the lack of personal equipment for frontliners against COVID-19. As of 3 p.m. Thursday, the Philippines confirmed 2,311 infections, including 96 deaths and 50 recoveries.

A Customs administrative order was released for speedy clearance for importers of medical equipment, the DOF said. Health products that are donated are automatically cleared.

The Bureau of Customs will submit a daily report to the DOF.