MANY local government officials, including those in the impoverished countryside, find it hard to meet the medical and other health needs of their constituents due to lack of financial resources.
This, in the view of some quarters, is unacceptable to the suffering and beleaguered Filipino people, particularly during trying times like the crippling coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
That’s why Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara deserves the support of the public as he orchestrates the passage of his bill exempting donated COVID-19 vaccines from the payment of the so-called “donor’s tax.”
(Donor’s tax is imposed upon gratuitous transfers of property or goods from one person to another. Gratuitous means that the goods or property is transferred free of charge or that the donate does not pay for it in receiving the donation from the donor.)
Under Senator Angara’s Senate Bill (SB) 2046, the proposed exemptions will be in effect from Jan. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2023.
The chair of the Senate finance committee said donations of these life-saving drugs, supplies and equipment needed for the COVID-19 vaccines’ administration, delivery and storage should not be taxed.
He said that many of the vaccines will be made available to the public through the generosity of donors, adding “we want to encourage more of these donations by exempting them from the donor’s tax.”
In filing SB 2046, Angara wants the waiving of the donor’s tax for any donation of drugs, vaccines and other medical supplies specifically prescribed and directly used for the treatment of COVID-19.
Likewise, the proposal exempts donations of equipment, spare parts and raw materials needed for the production of personal protective equipment components such as gowns and masks.
The bill is seen to make available enough vaccines at the shortest possible time to enable the Philippines to inoculate as many people as possible and achieve herd immunity for this Third World nation.