DTI says preparing to draft IRR of controversial vape law; may consult FDA

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2022 06:08 PM

Creative Commons
Vaping stock photo. Lindsay Fox, Creative Commons

MANILA — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is already preparing to draft the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the controversial vape law and vowed to consult the country's drug regulatory agency about it, an official said Wednesday. 

The measure, which lapsed into law last month, transfers the regulation of vapes under the DTI from the Food and Drug Administration. It also lowers the age of sale from 21 to 18.

Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said they have the capability to test vape devices since last year.

"Hindi po natin tatanggihan kung ano iyong binigay na responsibilidad sa department," said Castelo. 

(We will not refuse any responsibility given to the department.)

"Siguro po anytime soon, in a couple of days, mag-uumpisa na po tayo ng consultation with FDA muna – sa FDA muna tapos kapag naayos natin sa dalawang ahensiya, ilalabas po natin for public consultation," she added. 

(Maybe anytime soon, in a couple of days, we will start consulting with the FDA then once we streamline these, it will be released for public consultation.)

Castelo noted that FDA will test chemicals used for vape in cases when they have health claims. The regulatory body will also certify the product.

"Kung wala po siyang health claim, magiging automatic po na sa DTI and we’re ready – kung gusto po ng batas o binibigay sa atin iyong responsibilidad, hindi po natin siya tatanggihan at nagpi-prepare na po tayo para magawa natin ‘to," she said.

(If it does not have any health claim, automatically that will be for DTI and we're ready. If the law wants to give us the responsibility, then we will not refuse it. We are preparing to finish this.)

The DTI official said they already have a timeline on when they would finish the IRR to assure the public that the law will be implemented properly. 

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Both the Senate and the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress approved the vape regulation bill in January, but it was supposedly transmitted to Malacañang last June 24, just days before then President Rodrigo Duterte stepped down from office, reports said.

The Department of Health (DOH) last month said it would "tighten its grip where the law enables it" on the monitoring and regulation of heated tobacco products after the vape bill lapsed into law.