THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Thursday that additional funds are needed to raise the capacity of facilities certifying that vape products are safe.

In a statement, the DTI cited “budgetary constraints” as behind the lack of coverage for heated tobacco products (HTP) consumables, e-liquids for vapor products, and nicotine pouches.

“The House Committee on Ways and Means has instructed the DTI and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to secure additional funding in the National Expenditure Program to expand the DTI’s testing capabilities,” the DTI said.

The funds will help set up ‘more testing facilities for HTP consumables and e-liquids, and enhance DTI’s certification process, which is vital for public safety,” it added.

On Feb. 22, THE DTI’s Consumer Protection Group inspected vape testing facilities in the Bureau of Philippine Standards laboratory in Cavite. It evaluated the testing protocols and assessed laboratory equipment.

“It is essential to have well-maintained machinery, up-to-date methodologies, and an efficient laboratory management system to bring vapor products into the market with greater confidence in their safety and performance,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said.

Product registration and related provisions of Republic Act (RA) 11900, or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, are due to take effect in June.

Once implemented, all imports and manufacturing of vaporized nicotine, non-nicotine, and novel tobacco products will have to obtain DTI certification before market introduction.

“The DTI is committed to providing consumers with high-quality products that meet both national and international standards,” Mr. Pascual said. “Furthermore, the DTI will continue its efforts to ensure Philippine factories comply with government standards.” — Justine Irish D. Tabile