Precious Castelo wants face masks, sanitizers exempted from taxes

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Quezon City Rep. Precious Castelo has asked the government To exempt facemasks, sanitizers and similar protective goods from import duties and local taxes amid the rise in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country.

Castelo, a vice chairperson of the House committee on Metro Manila development, said exempting facemasks and other products like antiseptics from taxes could “assure adequate supply, stabilize prices and avoid hoarding at this time of crisis.”

“Our goal is to make these currently important health products available in the market and enable consumers to buy them at cost,” she said.

The Department of Health announced last week three new cases of COVID-19 in the country, with at least one patient who contracted the virus through local transmission.

Castelo said there is a need to flood the market with face masks and sanitizers so prices would go down and traders would be discouraged from hoarding them and selling them later at prohibitive prices.