‘Hidilyn Diaz Act’ seeks tax-free cash donations, rewards for athletes
MANILA, Philippines — A bill seeking to exempt from taxes the monetary donations and rewards given to national athletes and coaches who competed or have won in international sports competitions was filed in the House of Representatives.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda filed on Wednesday House Bill No. 9891 or the Hidilyn Diaz Act of 2021 which seeks to amend Republic Act No. 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.
Under the measure, rewards, bonuses, and other forms of emoluments for national athletes and coaches who compete or win international sports competitions shall be exempted from all taxes, fees, and charges.
The bill was filed in light of the historic gold medal win of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This was the first gold medal for the Philippines in the history of the Olympics.
“The honor that Filipino athletes have brought to the country this year is immense and historic. So unprecedented is this honor that it appears our laws were unable to anticipate the outpouring of material solidarity from different sectors of society for winning athletes and coaches,” Salceda said in the bill.
“In view of the need to recognize this historic win, and to express the State’s solidarity and congratulations for our winning athletes and coaches, this bill will exempt rewards for national athletes and coaches who compete or win in international sports competitions from any and all taxes, fees, and charges,” he added.
Diaz is expected to receive more than P35 million for her historic gold medal performance in the Tokyo Olympics.
Under the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, Olympic gold medalists will be rewarded with a P10 million prize. Aside from this, tycoons in Manny V. Pangilinan and Ramon S. Ang have also pledged P10 million each while House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero has committed P3 million.
Zamboanga City, Diaz’s hometown, will also reportedly give an additional P2.5 million.
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