Meds for diabetes, other ailments common to elderly cheaper soon

By Liza Agoot

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Medicines for diabetes and other ailments common to the elderly will soon be exempted from the Value Added Tax (VAT) thus, will be cheaper, a Department of Finance (DOF) official assured locals of this upland region on Saturday.

“By January 2019, VAT-free na po and mga gamot para sa diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension,” DOF Assistant Secretary Antonio Joselito Lambino II told hundreds of Cordillerans witnessing the launch of the “Biyaya ng Pagbabago” program of the Office of Participatory Government under the Office of the Cabinet Secretary at the Benguet State University.

Lambino said the cheaper medicines would be brought about by the new Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, which allows the government to collect more taxes from other products and services and finance more programs for health, education, and social assistance for indigent citizens.

“The exemption on medicines, generally consumed and needed by the senior citizens, will be aided with the TRAIN collection,” Lambino explained.

The finance official further explained that the new TRAIN law that rolled out at the start of 2018 would enable the government to pursue its “Build, Build, Build” program, a massive infrastructure investment strategy.

He said the “Build, Build, Build” program would create over 93,000 jobs in the country, finance the college education of students in state universities and colleges, subsidize legitimate public utility vehicle owners, and assist hundreds of thousands of poor Filipinos.

Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco said the “Biyaya ng Pagbabago” program aims to bring to the grassroots the programs and services of the Duterte administration, which targets to bring down the poverty level in the country from the present 21 percent to 14 percent in 2022. (PNA)