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TAX-FREE POLL DUTY HONORARIA BILL GETS HOUSE OK

The House of Representatives on Monday approved on final reading a measure exempting election servers such as members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) from having their honoraria subjected to income and other withholding taxes.

With 202 affirmative votes, 0 negative votes, and no abstention, the chamber passed on third reading House Bill 9652, which would provide income tax exemption to compensation of BEIs and other election personnel, typically public school teachers for serving in the national and local elections.

The bill seeks to amend the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 to exclude election-related honoraria and allowances from the computation of gross income.

“The measure recognizes their notable service even in hazardous environments during election season.”

Nueva Vizcaya Representative Luisa Lloren Cuaresma, the author of the bill, said the measure will allow teachers to fully enjoy the full amount of compensation and recognize their notable service even in hazardous environments during election season.

Cuaresma noted that the compensation teachers receive is usually subjected to income tax.

“The hard-earned compensation being earned by teachers becomes the price for their safety and lives.”

“As a result, the hard-earned compensation being earned by teachers, which to some extent, becomes the price for their safety and lives, is being reduced to a meager amount that is barely sufficient to augment their other source of income,” the legislator said.

Data from the Commission on Elections showed taxes withheld for the 2019 National and Local Elections amounted to P56.8 million.

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