Executive departments of the government expressed strong support to the vape bill, which is expected to sustain the livelihood of over 2.7 million Filipinos relying on the tobacco industry while providing more than 16 million Filipino adult smokers with less harmful smoke-free alternatives and protecting minors.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it was backing the enactment of the bill that seeks to provide significant income, employment and livelihood to tobacco farmers, workers and their dependents; increase revenues; regulate vapor products; and provide alternative option and transition for smokers to lessen or quit smoking.
This is the position issued by the department through former Secretary Silvestre Bello III in response to the request by Malacañang Palace for comments and recommendation on the consolidated House Bill No. 9007 and Senate Bill No. 2239.
The Office of the Executive Secretary solicited inputs on the approval of the bill which was already ratified by the Senate and the House of Representatives. The enrolled bill aims to regulate “the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use and communication of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products.”
“Tobacco growing, manufacturing and sales are important economic activities which support the livelihood of 2.7 million Filipinos including tobacco farmers, workers and their dependents. This reality must be considered in the treatment and regulation of this novel industry,” said DOLE.
“This will certainly lead to job generation, opening of new businesses and provide more employment for the labor sector,” it said.
In a separate letter sent to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the PhilTobacco Growers Association Inc., representing over 50,000 tobacco farmers in Northern Luzon, appealed for the passage of the Vape Bill to ensure their livelihood.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) and Department of National Defense (DND) were also among the agencies that expressed strong support for the passage of the Vape Bill.
The DTI said it supports the Vape Bill because “vape products can be utilized as an alternative or a helpful means to transition from consuming conventional tobacco products to less harmful tobacco products.”