Party-list solon: Comelec tax rule on teachers’ poll duty pay doesn’t make sense
MANILA, Philippines — Limiting the tax-exempt election pay of teachers to those whose annual compensation are below P250,000 “does not make sense” and is basically “useless,” 1-Ang Edukasyon Rep. Bong Belaro said Friday.
On Wednesday, the Bureau of Internal Revenue said the allowances and honoraria of teachers who would serve as members of electoral boards on the May 13 midterm polls are tax-exempt only if their annual income fall below P250,000. The Commission on Elections reiterated this.
But not even a Teacher 1 will qualify to this rule, Belaro pointed out.
“The monthly salary now of a public school teacher holding a Teacher 1 item is P20,754. Multiply that by 13 months, including the 13th-month pay, the sum is P269,802 which is clearly above the tax-exempt threshold of P250,000 per annum. That does not yet include various allowances from the national and local governments,” Belaro explained.
“COMELEC’s decision does not benefit any public school teacher,” he added.
Teachers’ election duty honoraria and benefits should be released to them without tax deduction, said Belaro, who authored House Bill No. 7732 seeking 100 percent tax exemption on the honorarium and benefits of teachers and other personnel rendering election service.
“There is no urgent necessity to deduct taxes from the election duty pay because income taxation covers an entire taxable year and the time for the teacher-taxpayer to settle that is April next year,” he added.
He said he would push for HB 7732 so it could be reported out of committee right after session resumes on May 20 and then pass on second and third reading before the session ends on June 7.
Under the Election Service Reform Act, Electoral Board (EB) chairpersons are entitled to a P6,000 honorarium, EB members P5,000, Department of Education supervising office (DESO) P4,000 and DESO support staff P2,000.
They will also receive an additional P1,000 travel allowance. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.