MANILA - President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has shown "no indication" if he is for or against a bill seeking to regulate e-cigarettes, which leaves the measure still in limbo months since the 18th Congress came to a close.
The Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Bill or the Vape Bill had been waiting for the signature of Marcos Jr.'s predecessor, then-President Rodrigo Duterte, since early June, as health advocates and tobacco stakeholders continue to push either for its veto or passage.
"There has been no indication. The President has not commented on these bills right now," Pres Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles told reporters in a press conference.
Under the law, bills approved by Congress will lapse into law if the president fails to act on it after 30 days of receipt.
The Vape Bill allows individuals aged 18 and above to purchase vaping products, 2 years younger than the current age requirement of 21.
The proposal also designated the Department of Trade and Industry, instead of the Department of Health, jurisdiction over e-cigarettes to ensure that defective and substandard products are kept off the market.
The DOH earlier urged Duterte to veto the vape bill "to protect the Filipinos especially the youth".
Marcos Jr. earlier met with DOH officials, but the Palace has yet to disclose if the Vape Bill was among the issues discussed in the meeting.