President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday said election workers will still get government support through targeted budgetary spending despite his veto of a bill seeking tax exemptions to the honoraria, allowances, and other benefits given to election workers.
Explaining his veto during the COVID-19 booster rollout in Pasig City, Marcos said his administration is trying to simplify tax payment and putting another tax category will create more chance of leakage, confusion, and burden for the tax bureau.
Implementing the proposal will also create more problems and red tape, he told reporters.
“But as a matter of principle, ang sinasabi ko hindi kasi pagka gumawa ka ng tax subsidy, hindi mo alam kung sino ang makakakuha dahil kahit ‘yung hindi nangangailangan, nakakakuha ng subsidy. Hindi naman dapat sila bigyan,” the President pointed out.
Through targeted support, there is no need to put a new tax category, especially if the entire machinery of granting subsidies is in place, the President said, adding the national ID system will also be used to extend assistance.
“Ngayon, hindi ibig sabihin nito na kinalimutan natin ‘yung ating mga election workers. Mayroon — babalikan natin sila pagka nagka-eleksyon, eh ‘di titingnan natin sino ba talaga ang nagtrabaho? Ilang oras sila, ilang araw sila nagtrabaho dito? Ano ‘yung kanilang position? Sila‘yung nag-aano doon sa mga makina? Whatever it is,” Marcos explained.
The Palace announced Saturday that the President vetoed House Bill No. 9652/Senate Bill No. 2520 entitled “An Act Exempting from Income Taxation the Honoraria, Allowances, and other Financial Benefits of Persons Rendering Service During an Election Period.”
In his message to lawmakers, the President said the measure runs counter to the objective of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program “to correct the inequity in the country’s tax system and negate the progressivity of the reforms introduced under R.A. 10963 or the TRAIN law.”
“Moreover, the studies of pertinent government agencies on the revenue loss is too substantial an impact to be foregone,” he said.
Although the President recognizes the intent of Congress to provide income tax exemption to persons serving an election, he said it will be inequitable to other individuals performing similar services.
According to Marcos, providing additional support to any sector is best addressed through targeted budgetary spending rather than through the tax system.
At the same time, the chief executive encouraged legislators to enact measures that are consistent with the thrust and commitment of the administration toward national economic recovery. | PND