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NO TAX FOR TEACHERS’ POLL DUTY HONORARIA PUSHED

With roughly a month to go before the end of the rgistration for the 2022 polls, Senator Win Gatchalian pushes anew for the tax exemption of teachers’ election honoraria.

In 2019, Gatchalian filed Senate Bill No.1193, which seeks to seeks to exclude from gross income and exempt from taxation the honoraria, travel allowance, and other benefits granted by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to teachers and poll workers under Republic Act No. 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act (ESRA).

In the past elections, a 5% tax was imposed on teachers’ election honoraria and allowances.

“Giving the full amount of their honoraria, including allowances and benefits, is the best way to thank them.”

Even should teachers and poll workers receive more pay for their election day services, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture said that giving the full amount of their honoraria, including allowances and benefits, is the best way to thank them for their role in the upcoming elections, especially amid the continuing threat of COVID-19.

“Bilang pasasalamat sa kanilang serbisyo, napapanahong ‘wag nang patawan ng buwis ang kanilang mga sahod at benepisyo sa panahon ng eleksyon.”

“Marami nang sakripisyo ang ating mga guro sa gitna ng pandemya bilang frontliners ng edukasyon. Sa susunod na taon, frontliners naman sila sa ating halalan. Bilang pasasalamat sa kanilang serbisyo, napapanahong ‘wag nang patawan ng buwis ang kanilang mga sahod at benepisyo sa panahon ng eleksyon,” the veteran legislator said.

Last June, the Department of Education (DepEd) reported that COMELEC approved its proposal to give a P3,000 hike to the honoraria of teachers who will serve as Electoral Board (EB) and poll workers.

Under DepEd’s proposal, Chairpersons will receive P9,000, P8,000 will be given to EB members, P7,000 for DepEd Supervisor Official (DESO), and P5,000 for Support Staff.

The COMELEC, however, lamented a 37% slash in its election year budget, noting that this would affect teachers’ request for an increase in their honoraria and for other benefits.

The poll body said it would appeal to Congress to restore items removed by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The senator also pointed out that if the annual taxable income of teachers and poll workers exceeds the P250,000 threshold under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, their honoraria and allowances are subject to income tax. Those who earn below P250,000 have to submit a declaration of tax exemptions.

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