/ 9 October 2021

ACT TEACHERS Partylist Rep. France Castro urged Senate leaders to swiftly pass the measure that seeks to exempt from taxes the remuneration of those who will render election service.

“As elections draw near, we urge the Senate to urgently pass the counterpart bill exempting from taxes all amounts granted to election service volunteers in the national and local elections. Congress cannot let another election slip by and let the already measly honoraria and allowances of poll workers be taxed,” Castro said.

She stressed that imposing tax on the honoraria and allowances of poll volunteers destroys the spirit and intent of the Election Service Reform Act.

House Bill 9652 or An Act Exempting from Income Taxation the Honoraria, Allowances, and Other Financial Benefits of Persons Rendering Service During an Election Period, Amending for the Purpose Sec. 32B of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 was passed on third and final reading last August 23, 2021.

Senate Bill 1193 was filed by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian.

“The honorarium and travel allowances of those volunteering to serve in the local and national elections is essentially not an income but actually a form of reimbursement for the expenses incurred by the poll workers in the performance of their official duties and recognition of their volunteerism. These allowances and honorarium for election service were never taxed before 2018,” Castro said.

“Teachers deserve to receive the full amount of the honorarium after undertaking their high-risk job as poll workers. They are required to attend training, deliver the election paraphernalia to and from Comelec offices and precincts, and perform other election-related tasks,” she added.