Solon calls on BIR not to tax poll board’s allowances

MANILASenator Nancy Binay on Tuesday called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to waive the imposition of the five percent withholding tax on the honorarium and travel allowance of those who will serve as members of the election board in the upcoming barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (youth council elections.

"In the spirit of public service, nananawagan po ako sa BIR na i-waive na ang five percent tax sa honorarium at travel allowance ng mgaelection board (EB) sa barangay at SK elections," Binay said in a statement.

(In the spirit of public service, I'm calling on BIR to waive the five percent tax on honorarium and travel allowance of election board in the coming barangay and SK elections).

"Boluntaryo pong ginagawa ito ng ating mga public school teachers, kaya nararapat lamang na suklian ng estado ang serbisyong ito," she added.

(Public school teachers are voluntarily doing the poll duties that's why the state should repay this service).

Under Republic Act no. 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act, the chairperson of Electoral Boards will receive PHP6,000; Electoral Board members - PHP5,000; Department of Education Supervisor Official -PHP4,000; and support staff will get PHP2,000.

They are also entitled to a PHP1,000 travel allowance each.

Other benefits given by the law include a minimum of five days service credit; a PHP50,000 legal indemnification package; medical assistance of up to PHP200,000; and PHP500,000 election-related death benefit.

Binay, the chair of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, is also pushing for the speedy disbursement of the EB's honoraria and allowance, noting that teachers who serve in the Election Board already incur election-related expenses even before the actual elections.

As provided under RA 10756, the honoraria and allowance are payable within 15 days after the elections.

Normally po ay pagkatapos ng eleksyon ito ibinibigay sa mga EB, pero dahil may mga election-related na gastusin na bago pa man ang eleksyon e mas mabuting ibigay na ito agad sa mga guro," Binay said.

(Normally, these are given to the EB after the election but because of election-related expenses before the election, it would be better to give the allowance to the school teachers).

Binay also appealed to her colleagues in Congress to support the increase of the election board's death insurance and legal indemnification benefits.

She pointed out that teachers' lives are always in peril and face legal suits as well as other forms of harassment during every election.

"Buhay at integridad po ng election board ang nakataya bawat eleksyon so mas mabuti pong taasan ang mga benepisyong ito. Manghahain po ako ng amendment na inaasahan kong susuportahan ng aking mga kasama sa Kongreso," she said.

(The integrity and lives of the election board are at risk every election so it is better to increase their benefits. I will file an amendment that I expect my colleagues in Congress will support).

"Makakatulong din po ang pagtataas ng legal benefit sa ating kaguruan na maibsan ang pag-aalala nila sa posibleng kasong kanilang haharapin sa pagsisilbi sa bayan," Binay said.

(It would also be a great help if we increase the legal benefit of our teachers to ease their worries on the possible cases when they perform election duties). (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency