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‘Wag nang pagkakitaan: Nancy Binay appeals to BIR: Exempt teachers’ poll honoraria from tax

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Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday appealed to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to exempt from 5% withholding tax the honorarium and travel allowance of teachers who will serve as poll volunteers in the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

Binay, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, made the appeal “in the spirit of public service.”

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

Under Republic Act No. 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act, the chairperson of Electoral Boards (EBs) will receive 6,000; the electoral board members P5,000; Department of Education supervisor/official P4,000; and support staff P2,000.

They are also entitled for a P1,000 travel allowance each. Other benefits given by the law include a minimum of 5 days service credit; a P50,000 legal indemnification package; medical assistance of up to P200,000; and P500,000 election-related death benefit.

The senator also pushed for the speedy disbursement of the EB’s honoraria and allowance.

“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.

The honoraria and allowance are payable within 15 days after the election, according to RA10756.

She also appealed to fellow lawmakers to support the increase of the EB’s death insurance and legal indemnification benefits.

“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,” Binay said.

She noted that teachers face legal suits and harassment every election.

“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.