House panel to approve ‘Hidilyn Diaz Act’ this week, says Salceda
MANILA, Philippines — The House committee on ways and means will approve this week the proposed “Hidilyn Diaz Act” which aims to exempt from taxes the monetary donations and rewards given to national athletes and coaches who competed or won in international events.
This was according to committee chair and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, who is also one of the authors of the proposed law.
“We will do it on Monday. We will probably approve it, too, since no one is opposed,” Salceda, referring to the committee’s next action on the measure, said in a statement Saturday.
During the tax panel’s regular meeting last week, Salceda ordered the committee secretariat to consolidate all pending bills on the matter.
“We are trying to rush this because time is of the essence. The blow-outs are starting to come in,” he said.
The Hidilyn Diaz Act of 2021 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 contests 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 prestigious sporting event.
“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 measure.
Salceda also underscored that athletes need to be supported during the training phase, and not only after they win in competitions.
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