Opposition Senator Leila De Lima has tabled a measure that would exempt from income tax the fees, allowances and other financial benefits of people providing services during an election period.
In tabling Senate Bill (SB) No 2456, De Lima said the exemption was justified given that the dangers and difficulties that election officials would face in the upcoming 2022 elections are expected to multiply amid of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While election officials receive compensation in the form of fees and allowances during an election season, De Lima stressed that they are subject to income tax like any other income.
“This hard-earned income, which in many cases is barely enough to meet the daily needs of these people, also becomes the price of their safety and their lives,” she argued.
“The risks, both physical and moral, in themselves justify special treatment for seasonal election workers. Truly, the compensation our election workers receive is tiny compared to their invaluable contribution to our democracy. “
Ultimately, De Lima, a former election lawyer, pointed out that election officials play a vital role in every election season, as they are often called upon to be on the front lines of the polls, to serve as members of election commissions. and helping voters on polling day.
“Despite the fact that election season in the Philippines is notorious for incidents of election-related violence and death, election officials courageously overcome these obstacles in order to effectively carry out their duties and ensure safety and sanctity. of the ballot, ”she said.
“Sa pagsusulong ng panukalang batas na ito, maibalik man lang natin ang nararapat na serbisyo and benepisyo sa ating mga kababayan na nagsisikap and itinataya an kanilang panahon and kaligtasan as like mga katuwang sa mayos na halalan”, she added.
(Through this bill, we can rightly render service and benefit to our compatriots who are doing their best and putting themselves in danger as election workers.)
Meanwhile, the re-electoral senator on Saturday encouraged young voters to choose candidates who prioritized the issue of the West Philippine Sea.
Speaking on behalf of De Lima, human rights defender Antonio La Viña acknowledged that most of the new registered voters are between the ages of 18 and 21.
The Elections Commission earlier reported that 4,094,614 new voters belonged to this age group.
“This is very important because young people will be affected by what happens in the West Philippine Sea,” La Viña said in an episode of the online talk show “The West Philippine Sea Catch”.
“Senator De Lima encourages young people to really come out and understand what is going on and be aware of themselves, huwag magpabola po (make no mistake),” he added.
“Our leaders are vying for the mandate of the voters to run the country and protecting national interests from enemies inside and outside must be the priority and this is really the problem of the West Philippine Sea.”
La Viña also advised voters to conduct thorough research, use critical thinking, and engage with others to tackle misinformation. – with a report by Richa Noriega / DVM / VBL, GMA News