/ 27 April 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday urged the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Internal Revenue to submit their proposals on how poll workers, including public school teachers, can receive the full amount of their honoraria, allowances and other benefits.

“Pareho naman ‘yung ating sentimyento na dapat tulungan ‘yung ating mga teachers, so let’s just find a way to give them the full amount,” Gatchalian said.

“Exempting them from 20 percent withholding tax is a small recognition for their sacrifice and a small recognition for the extra mile that they demonstrated for our country in terms of assuring democracy,” he added.

The senator filed Senate Bill 1193 which seeks to make the honoraria, travel allowance and other benefits granted to poll workers exempt from tax.

These incentives have never been subjected to tax until 2018 when the BIR imposed a 5 percent withholding tax on teachers’ honoraria.

This, however, was increased to 20 percent for the May 2022 national elections.

The DOF earlier opposed calls to exempt from tax the honoraria and other benefits given to teachers who will render poll service.

It added that granting tax exemption is against the principles of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law to make the tax system more efficient and equitable.