Teachers blast 20 pct tax on Halalan travel allowance

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2022 02:27 PM

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MANILA – A teachers’ group is protesting the planned 20 percent tax on the travel allowance of teachers who will serve as poll workers in the May elections. 

The tax means that the P2,000 to be used by teachers who will attend the training sessions hosted by Commission on Elections (Comelec) will be reduced by P400.

“This P2,000 travel allowance is actual expense that our teachers are going to, [they will] be using for the travel expenses for the coming elections,” said Alliance of Concerned Teachers secretary general Raymond Basilio.

“This is not an income ‘no, so this is not taxable. So parang ang nangyari pa dito, ay magtatrabaho ang mga guro natin beyond their normal task, magsasakripisyo, gagastos pa sila,” he added.

Basilio said the Bureau of Internal Revenue was wrong when it interpreted the law to classify the travel allowance as a form of income.

“We are really appealing to the leadership of the Bureau of Internal Revenue na aralin ito, tingnan ito sa ganitong konteksto.”

He also reiterated his appeal to government to no longer tax the honoraria of poll workers.

“They’re only receiving that meager amount ‘no, imagine po natin yung services na inirerender ng mga teachers natin: ilang araw para sa seminar, ilang araw yung ginugugol nila para aralin yung pagpapatakbo ng makina, ilang peligro yung susuungin nila mula sa pagkuha ng eleksyon paraphernalia hanggang sa pagbalik nito, yung pagod ng almost 24 hours ng dire-diretsong serbisyo sa election day.”

“And what are they receiving? Only P7,000. Bilang honorarium. Kakaltasan pa po ba natin yan ng tax?” he asked.

At least one poll commissioner has backed the call of a teachers' group to scrap the tax imposed on the honoraria of poll workers who are serving May 9.

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading House Bill 9652, principally authored by the ACT Teachers party-list, that pushed for such exemption. The Senate, however, has yet to tackle its counterpart bills.

--ANC, 16 March 2022