Solon wants 2-month tax holiday for COVID-19 health frontliners | Inquirer News
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Solon wants 2-month tax holiday for COVID-19 health frontliners

/ 03:50 PM April 29, 2020
MANILA, Phillippines — A lawmaker has sought a two-month tax holiday for health workers helping in the country’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the “Health Workers’ Tax Holiday Act of 2020” filed Tuesday by Quezon City Rep. Precious Castelo, the income of qualified health workers from March 15 to May 15 this year — a period of two months —would not be included in the computation of their income tax.

Castelo said her bill seeks to recognize the work of healthcare personnel as they face the daily danger of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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“Understandably so, since they are highly vulnerable to infection, being directly exposed to the virus as frontline workers. These heroes are willingly putting themselves in harm’s way to safeguard public health,” Castelo said in the bill’s explanatory note.

“Thus, it is but right and just to reward them if only to show the nation’s gratitude and appreciation for their service,” she added.

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Based on her proposal, qualified health workers are those “engaged in health and health-related work, and all persons employed in hospitals, health infirmaries, health centers, rural health units, barangay health stations, clinics, and other health-related establishments, whether public or private and shall include medical, allied health professional, administrative and support personnel regardless of their employment status.”

Moreover, the proposed measure gives the Secretary of Finance the authority to extend the two-month period covered by tax relief by not more than three months, depending on the status of the coronavirus crisis.

To date, 1,336 healthcare workers have been found positive for SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus that causes respiratory illness COVID-19, according to the Department of Health.

DOH also said that the Philippines has 7,958 coronavirus infections as of April 28, including 530 deaths.

KGA

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