Senator Sonny Angara (File photo)

MANILA – To help increase the supply of vaccines and other critical and essential supplies needed by the country in the fight against Covid-19, Senator Sonny Angara has filed a bill seeking to exempt donations of these goods from the donor’s tax.

Now that the supply of Covid-19 vaccines is becoming widely available for purchase by the government and the private sector, Angara said donations of these life-saving drugs and the supplies and equipment needed for its administration, delivery and storage should no longer be taxed.

“The national government, local government units and the private sector are all in the thick of preparations for the arrival of the first doses of the Covid-19 vaccines. Many of these vaccines will be made available to the public through the generosity of donors. We want to encourage more of these donations by exempting these from the donor’s tax,” Angara said.

He said similar incentives were already granted during the implementation of Bayanihan 1 and 2 laws in recognition of the need to increase the supplies of goods needed by our front-liners.

“Sa pamamagitan nitong panukalang pag-exempt sa donor’s tax ay masisiguro natin ang walang hadlang na pamamahagi ng mga donasyon ng bakuna at iba pang kagamitan para sa ating gobyerno pati na din sa pribadong sector (Through this proposal to exempt from donor’s tax, unimpeded distribution of donation of vaccines and other related equipment by government and private sectors will be assured),” Angara said.

Under Senate Bill 2046 filed by Angara last February 10, donations of drugs, vaccines and medical supplies specifically prescribed and directly used for the treatment of Covid-19 will be exempted from the donor’s tax.

Also exempted are donations of capital equipment, spare parts and raw materials needed for the production of personal protective equipment components such as coveralls, gowns, surgical masks, goggles and face shields.

Donations of drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in clinical trials, including raw materials needed for the production of these drugs would also be exempted.

The bill also exempts donations of equipment for waste management, including waste segregation, storage, collection, sorting, treatment and disposal services.

The grant of donor’s tax exemptions will be in effect from Jan. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2023.

All of the covered donations must be for the use of the government and private entities, not for commercial use and shall be for free distribution to or use for the containment or mitigation of Covid-19.

The donations shall be subject to the rules of deductibility pursuant to the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended, as well as the applicable rules and issuances of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Last Thursday, the Committee on Finance, headed by Angara, also conducted a hearing on Senate Bill 2042 filed by Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, which seeks to expedite the purchase and administration of Covid-19 vaccines by exempting local government units from compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, and other related laws.

“The goal with these legislative initiatives is clear -- to make available enough vaccines, at the shortest possible time, in order to inoculate as many members of the population and achieve herd immunity for our country,” Angara said. (PR)