MANILA, Philippines -- Voting 205-0-0, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on final reading House Bill 9990, or the proposed "Hidilyn Diaz Act."
HB 9990 seeks to exempt bonuses and donations to athletes from all taxes and fees, including donor’s taxes and income taxes.
The bill will now be submitted to the Senate for action.
The bill seeks to amend Republic Act No. 10699, or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.
The bill mandates that rewards, bonuses, and other forms of emoluments for national athletes and coaches who compete in international sports competitions be exempted from all taxes and other fees.
House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Joey Salceda and Speaker Lord Allan Velasco led lawmakers in filing the proposal, after Diaz captured the country's first-ever Olympic gold medal when she topped the podium in the women's 55kg class in weightlifting.
According to its congressional fact sheet, the bill seeks to acknowledge national athletes who compete and win in international sports competitions, and their respective coaches, by exempting from taxes, fees, and charges all incentives, rewards, bonuses, and other forms of emoluments received by them.
It requires that donations, gifts, endowments and contributions made prior to the competition itself be directly and exclusively used to fund training and competition-related expenses.
It allows donations, gifts, endowments and contributions, as well as incentives, rewards, bonuses and other forms of emoluments, received by national athletes and their respective coaches as deductions from gross income for purposes of computing the taxable income of the donor.
It qualifies the period of availing the exemption from donor's tax and deductibility from gross income within one year before the commencement of the international sports competition where the national athlete will compete in, as certified by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, or the National Paralympic Committee, and within three months after the international sports competition.
It provides for the retroactivity of the tax exemptions to cover incentives, rewards, bonuses, and other emoluments, as well as donations, gifts, endowments, and contributions, received by national athletes and their respective coaches, beginning January 1, 2021.
It mandates the exemptions to be carried out without the issuance of pertinent revenue regulations by the Department of Finance, upon recommendation by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Velasco welcomed the approval, saying: "This is our way of giving back to our exceptional national athletes, a well-deserved reward for their perseverance and hard work."
The House had also adopted four separate resolutions awarding the Congressional Medal of Excellence to Diaz, as well as the Congressional Medal of Distinction to boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, and Eumir Marcial.