MANILA – A lawmaker at the House of Representatives is pushing for a two-month tax holiday for health workers helping in the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Quezon City Rep. Precious Castelo filed on Tuesday the proposed Health Workers’ Tax Holiday Act of 2020, which proposes that the income of “qualified health workers” would not be included in the computation of their income tax from March 15 to May 15 this year.
In effect, their earnings for two months would be tax-exempt.
Castelo said the bill covers health workers 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.”
She noted that Congress has granted health workers a “special risk allowance” under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law in recognition of the danger they are facing in the “anti-Covid-19 war”.
“Understandably so, since they are highly vulnerable to infection, being directly exposed to the virus as frontline workers. 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,” she said.
The bill seeks to grant the Secretary of Finance the authority to extend the two months covered by tax relief by not more than three months depending on the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Department of Finance shall be mandated to issue the implementing rules and regulations.
As of Wednesday, there are a total of 8,212 Covid-19 cases reported in the Philippines, with 558 deaths and 1,023 recoveries. (PNA)