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‘Wag na buwisan: Bam asks BIR to let teachers have poll honoraria in full

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Senator Bam Aquino believes it is not right to tax the honoria that teachers will receive after rendering poll duties on May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

He called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to spare from withholding tax the honoraria of teachers who will render poll duties on the twin elections middle of May.

“Nang isulong natin ang Election Service Reform Act, layunin natin ang bigyan ng karampatang pabuya ang mga volunteers sa eleksiyon, tulad ng mga teachers,” he said.

“Hindi intensiyon ng batas na buwisan pa ang bayad dito,” said Aquino, principal author of Republic Act 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act (ESRA).

He added, “Pataas na nga ng pataas ang presyo ng bilihin dahil sa tax reform, kakaltasan pa muli ang honoraria ng mga guro.”

“Bigyan naman natin sila na kakaunting ginhawa sa dami ng buwis,” the opposition senator said.

He pushed for ESRA’s passage in the 16th Congress to increase the election service benefits for public school teachers and make election service optional for public school teachers.

In addition, the law also increases honoraria for board of election inspector (BEI) and their support staff.

Under the law, compensation for BEI chairman will be increased to P6,000 from P3,000 while BEI members will receive P5,000 from P3,000.

From P3,000, the assigned DepEd (Department of Education) poll supervisor will earn P4,000 while support staff will receive P2,000 from P1,500.

The teachers and all persons who rendered election service would also be entitled to a travel allowance of P1,000 each.

All government officials and employees serving as members of the electoral boards, DepEd supervisor and support staff will be given five days of service credit.

The ESRA also increases the death benefits from P200,000 to P500,000 and the medical assistance in such amount as may be “sufficient to cover for medical and hospitalization expenses until recovery” of injuries sustained while in the performance of election duties.