MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday urged civil society sectors and advocates to help them campaign against the controversial vape bill that could be passed into law during the incoming Marcos administration.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they will "present their position" in the next administration regarding the measure.
"Patuloy ang kampanya ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan, kasama ng ibang ahensya ng gobyerno, ng ating civil societies atsaka health experts and advocates laban dito sa vape bill na naglalayon padaliin ang access at paluwagin ang regulasyon sa mapanganib na produktong ito lalong-lalo na sa ating kabataan," said Vergeire in a televised briefing.
"We believe na kapakanan ng ating kabataan ang nakasalalay dito kung saka-sakaling mapasa ang vape bill na ito," she added.
The measure has been approved by the bicameral committee as early as January this year. Malacañang in late May, however, said the bill has yet to be transmitted to the Palace's records office.
The bill seeks to transfer the regulation of vapes under the Department of Trade and Industry from the Food and Drug Administration. It also lowers the age of sale from 21 to 18.
Sen. Pia Cayetano this week said the bill remains "on some table" at the House of Representatives, reacting to speculation that it may be transmitted to the Office of the President last minute for it to lapse into a law.
Vergeire said it is important that sectors and advocates will support them in their cause against the vape bill.
"Kami ay humihingi ng tulong sa lahat ng sektor na sana ay masuportahan kami dahil alam naman po namin na napakaimportante ng vape bill na ito na hindi maipasa dahil it's going to affect the health of our children."
— with a report from Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News