MANILA -- Health Secretary Francisco Duque on Tuesday advised the public to exercise to overcome diabetes and hypertension, following weeks of holiday feasting.
Exercise is a form of "treatment," more than a feel-good activity, Duque said.
"Ba't tayo bibili ng gamot, binigyan tayo ng Diyos ng kakayahan para kontrahin itong mga kalabisan," he told reporters on New Year's Day.
(Why would we buy medicine when God gave us the ability to control being excessive.)
The government exempted medicines to control diabetes, hypertension, high-cholesterol from Value-Added Tax from Jan. 1 as some people are spending an "inordinate amount" on these drugs, he said.
"We are sensitive as well to the clamor of certain quarters, especially those representing cancer patients, na the medications can run into millions. Papunta na tayo diyan, ang importante unahin natin itong (We're getting there, the important thing is prioritizing the) most common medications."
The Food and Drug Administration will ensure that pharmacies comply with the new VAT exemption rules, he said. The public can send complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. Violators will be punished by a fine of not more than P1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both.