Gatchalian bats for tax exemption of teachers' poll pay | Inquirer News

Gatchalian bats for tax exemption of teachers’ poll pay

/ 09:46 AM June 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday said he would file a bill that will remove the tax deductions from the honoraria and allowances of public-school teachers who will serve during elections.

“We want to recognize the vital role our teachers play in maintaining the order and integrity of this democratic exercise,” Gatchalian said in a statement. The 18th Congress is set open on July 22.

 READ: Scrap 5% tax, teachers ask BIR anew


The allowances and honoraria of teachers who will serve as members of electoral boards (EB) are tax-exempt only if their annual income fall below P250,000, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.


READ: BIR: Teachers’ allowance for polls tax-exempt if annual income below P250K

Under the Election Service Reform Act, 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.

The Senate economic affairs committee chair also said he backs President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to increase the salaries of public school teachers.

“We are ready to assist on the legislative aspect if need be,” Gatchalian vowed.

READ: ACT: Government not a business

The Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Action for Economic Reforms, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Foundation for Economic Freedom, and Philippine Business for Education earlier called on the government to grant the P10,000 per month pay hike for public teachers in tranches.


The business groups argued that an entry-level public school teacher (salary grade 11) even receives 58 percent more in pay than a private school teacher. The possible rise in the disparity of pay could also “fuel the migration of private school teachers to public schools and exert financial pressures on private schools whose tuition fees are regulated by the government,” the groups claimed.

READ: Pay hike for teachers better given in phases, biz groups say

But ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio denounced the groups’ stance, saying the disparity in pay between public and private school teachers should not be used to block the pay hike of the latter.

READ: Teachers’ group thumbs down staggered pay hike

Duterte has vowed to increase the salary of public school teachers after working for the salary hike of police and military personnel in 2018.

READ: Teachers to Duterte: Raise pay as promised

Under the 4th tranche of the Salary Standardization Law, an entry-level public-school teacher with a salary grade of 11 earns a monthly salary of P20,754.

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The government would need some P150 billion to implement the proposed wage hike, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)

TAGS: Election, electoral boards, honoraria, Taxes, Teachers

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