Health-care workers on the front line of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic should be exempt from paying taxes for two months as a reward for their contributions, a lawmaker said on Wednesday.
Quezon City Rep. Precious Castelo proposed that the income of “qualified” health-care workers from March 15 to May 15 should not be taxed this year.
“If income tax has been withheld for the covered period, it would be applied as part of payment for the remainder of 2020 when taxes are paid in April next year,” she said in a statement.
Under the bill titled Health Workers’ Tax Holiday Act of 2020, which Castelo filed on Tuesday, the tax exemption is on top of other rewards enjoyed by health-care workers, including the “special risk allowance” under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
“These heroes are willingly putting themselves in harm’s way to safeguard public health. Thus, it is but right and just to reward them if only to show the nation’s gratitude and appreciation for their service,” Castelo said.
The bill defines qualified health-care workers as those “engaged in health and health-related work, and all persons employed in hospitals, health infirmaries, health centers, rural health units, barangay health stations, clinics, and other health-related establishments, whether public or private, and shall include medical, allied health professional, administrative and support personnel regardless of their employment status.”
It authorizes the Department of Finance secretary to extend the two-month period covered by the tax relief by not more than three months, depending on how soon the coronavirus would be controlled. —DJ YAP
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