Lawmaker wants lifetime tax exemption for Pacquiao

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2013 05:40 PM | Updated as of Dec 06 2013 09:02 AM

MANILA – Valenzuela City Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo wants to give his colleague, Sarangani Rep. and boxing champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao a lifetime tax exemption.

This, after Congressman Elpidio Barzaga filed a resolution asking to probe the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for Pacquiao’s tax problems, and after Congressman Lito Atienza filed a bill seeking to grant tax perks to athletes who win prizes overseas.

Gunigundo’s Bill 3521 wants to be known as the Pacquiao Act of 2013.

Section 3 reads, “The state shall confer lifetime individual income tax exemption to boxing icon Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, also known as Manny Pacquiao, who has given outstanding honor and pride to the Filipino people.”

It also states that all payments for income tax already paid shall not be reimbursed, and that “all other incurred income tax liabilities for the previous years shall now be obliterated by the operation of this act.”

In justifying the bill, Gunigundo cited Pacquiao’s boxing achievements as well as his over-all impact to the Filipino people.

Earlier today, ABAKADA party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz on Thursday made a pitch for tax exemptions for athletes who win prizes overseas, such as Pacquiao.

Dela Cruz said the honor given by these athletes to the country makes them deserving of the tax perks.

“They are already giving honor to the country,” Dela Cruz said. “They deserve it.”

“Kung nabibigyan ng tax exemption ang corporations, kung nabibigyan natin ng exemption ‘yung iba pa, bakit ‘di mabigyan ng tax exemption ‘yung gaya ni Congressman Pacquiao, na nagbibigay ng karangalan sa taongbayan?” he reasoned.

On Wednesday, Dela Cruz’s colleagues in the House Independent block filed a bill for the tax exemptions.

Pacquiao’s friend, Buhay Party List Rep. Lito Atienza, authored the bill, which adds the following tax exemption:

(D) Prizes and awards in sports competitions – All prizes and awards to amateur and professional athletes in local and international sports competitions and tournaments, whether held in the Philippines or abroad, sanctioned by their national sports association or any recognized world or international sports associations.

If approved, the bill would give exemption to prizes and awards in all the aforementioned competitions earned ten years prior to the approval and effectivity of this act.

The tax incentives provided for in this act may be availed or enjoyed by the winner-taxpayer who may have, or in connection with any pending assessments, tax cases or pending assessment charges or warrants and levy in the process of or yet to be implemented.