MANILA — Election workers will be given financial aid rather than exempt their honoraria from taxes, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Monday.
At the launch of a COVID-19 booster vaccination campaign in Pasig City, Marcos explained to reporters his veto on a measure that sought to provide tax exemption to people rendering services during elections.
He said that adding tax exemptions for election workers may result to more "leakage" and "confusion," and might end up getting wound up in the bureaucracy or "red tape."
Giving financial aid instead to election workers, he said, is much easier on the government's part as systems have already been set up for such programs.
Marcos added that it also ensures those who have actually worked during the elections will be given what they are due.
"Hindi naman ibig sabihin nito na kinalimutan na natin ang ating mga election workers. Babalikan natin sila kapagka nagka-eleksyon, titingnan natin kung sino talaga ang nagtrabaho, ilang oras, araw sila nagtrabaho, ano ang kanilang position, whatever it is. And then doon tayo magdadagdag ng ayuda," he said.
(This doesn't mean that we have forgotten election workers. After the elections, we will review who among these workers really worked, how many days they've rendered, what their positions were. That's when we give the financial aid.)
Marcos likened this proposed aid for election workers to subsidies given to public utility drivers affected by skyrocketing fuel prices, which served as the previous Duterte administration's alternative to calls for the suspension of excise and value-added taxes (VAT) for petroleum products.
"Sa VAT ng gasolina, hindi ko babawasan iyong VAT ng gasolina. Pero iyong mga tinamaan ng pagtaas ng gasolina, bibigyan natin kaagad ng ayuda," he said.
(We will not be suspending or reducing the VAT for fuel. But we will instead give aid to those affected by rising oil prices.)
Marcos said that the subsidy for election workers, if made available, will be distributed through the National ID system.
TEACHERS 'SADDENED' BY MARCOS VETO
Some teachers have expressed disappointment over Marcos' veto, saying that they could have allotted the 20 percent tax deductions from their honoraria for other basic expenses.
"Makakatulong pa sana para sa teachers sa mga ibang gastos, sa pamasahe, sa pagkain," teacher Esperanza Britanico told ABS-CBN News.
“Nakakalungkot nga po na nag-veto ng ating mahal na Pangulo. Malaking bagay na iyon sa [mga guro]. Almost P1,800-P2,000 ang nakaltas sa aming mga nag-serve. Nakakalungkot," Maria Victoria Manalon, another teacher, said.
(It's very sad that our President vetoed the measure. It would have been a big help for us teachers. Almost P1,800-P2,000 was deducted from our honoraria. It's very saddening.)
— with report from Jose Carretero, ABS-CBN News