More than 150 congressmen have thrown their support behind an amendment that would allow cooperatives to retain their tax exemptions as Congress works on House Bill (HB) 5636, the Administration’s major tax reform package.
COOP-NATCCO Partylist Rep. Anthony Bravo thanked his fellow representatives on Tuesday for listening to their constituents and restoring their faith in Congress as “the House of the People.”
“This tax reform bill will have a huge impact on the lives of our people, and it is only right that they value their sentiments regarding its provisions,” said Bravo, who has proposed an amendment in Section 20 of HB 5636 which would retain paragraphs L, M, and N of Section 109(1) of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) and allow cooperatives to maintain their tax exemptions.
Tax exemptions are given to cooperatives as mandated under Republic Act 9520, or the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008. However, under the original version of HB 5636, these would be repealed.
On Monday, more than 300 coop leaders led by the Philippine Cooperative Center (PCC) were at the gallery of the House of Representatives to support Bravo’s campaign to have the amendment adopted.
According to the legislator, “there is broad support for the amendment because it makes sense. Coops are non-profit institutions and coop members are not rich businessmen awash with cash.”
“Of the 150-plus representatives who support the retention of coops’ tax exemptions, there are members from the majority and the minority, as well as 40 from the party list coalition, which I belong to,” revealed the solon.
Bravo said that coop leaders will continue to make their presence felt every session day at the House of Representatives “to make sure their congressmen listen to the concerns of 14 million coop members from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.”
Since last month, explained Bravo, coop leaders from all over the country have been visiting their respective district representative to push for the retention of the coop tax exemption in the tax reform bill.
Bravo reiterated that even if coop leaders were bucking moves to remove tax exemptions of coops, “they are nonetheless appreciative of the current Administration’s efforts to update and improve our tax system.”
The House leadership decided not to bring HB 5636 to the floor for second reading. Depending on the determination of the complexity of the various pending amendments, the bill will either go back to the Committee on Ways and Means or the amendments will be done on the floor on second reading.