Duque doubts Duterte will sign vape bill

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 8) — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III believes President Rodrigo Duterte will not sign the controversial vape bill, as health authorities continue to rally against it.

"I am concerned with this vape bill. Ang end goal namin is it will not be enacted into law, kung mavi-veto sana. I doubt the president will even sign that bill into law," he said, adding he has been in constant communication with the Office of the President.

[Translation: Our end goal is that it will not be enacted into law, hopefully it will be vetoed.]

Duque also countered claims vapes and e-cigarettes are a good way to break one’s addiction to cigarettes. He said they often serve the opposite purpose, as they introduce the person to more vices like alcohol and marijuana use.

"Because of this commercial interest, kung ano ang tingin nila na maibo-blow up nila na ito ang kagandahan ng vape, gagawin nila iyan. Of course that is self-serving claims which cannot stand the scrutiny of science," he added.

[Translation: Because of this commercial interest, they falsely highlight the supposed benefits from vapes. But those are self-serving claims that cannot stand the scrutiny of science.]

The DOH, the Food and Drug Administration, and other medical groups have strongly recommended to Duterte to veto the vape bill, as it puts the youth at risk to the harmful effects of vapes and e-cigarettes.

It has been more than four months since Congress ratified the proposed Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, but the measure's final copy has not yet reached Malacañang. Some are worried it would be submitted at the last minute and the outgoing president would not have enough time to scrutinize the bill.

A bill may become a law even without the president's signature if the president does not sign the bill within 30 days from receipt. A bill may also become a law without the president's signature if Congress overrides a presidential veto by two-thirds vote.