Bill introduces tax break for crematoriums to speed up disposal of seized illegal drugs

Rep. Robert Ace Barbers Introduces Bill to Grant Tax Incentives for Cremation Facilities to Destroy Seized Drugs

Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has filed a bill that would grant tax incentives to cremation facilities that would help law enforcement authorities in their effort to destroy seized illegal drugs faster.

The proposed bill, titled “Prompt Dangerous Drugs Destruction Act of 2023” (House Bill No. 9668), mandates all incineration facilities, including crematoriums, to render free services for the prompt destruction of all illegal substances, particularly “shabu”, seized during anti-drug operations.

Chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, Barbers explained that the lack of dedicated incineration facilities for the immediate destruction of all confiscated drugs had been a long-time concern, as these substances are temptations for pilferage and recycling if held in custody for a long time by law enforcers.

The bill aims to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) among incineration facilities and crematoriums, which are traditionally associated with the dignified handling of end-of-life rituals, by extending their commitment to societal well-being.

In return for rendering services under the measure, incineration or crematorium facilities would be given tax incentives, including a tax credit of 10 percent but not exceeding P50,000 of the taxable gross income for a period of two years.

The bill also makes it clear that failure or refusal to render free destruction of seized illegal drugs by the concerned facilities could result in the suspension, revocation, or non-renewal of their license or permit to operate said business.

Under the proposed measure, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) would designate the cremation facility that would undertake the drug destruction process, with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) tasked to issue pertinent guidelines and practices promoting anti-pollution measures in relation to the drug incineration and disposal.

Barbers emphasized that the bill is a serious effort to end the threat of illegal drugs in the country and ensure the prompt destruction of seized substances to prevent pilferage and recycling.

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