Filipino athletes

House passes proposed Hidilyn Diaz Act

Rambo Talabong
House passes proposed Hidilyn Diaz Act

GOLD MEDALIST. The Philippines' Hidilyn Diaz celebrates after her winning lift, July 26, 2021.

Edgard Garrido/Reuters

House Bill No. 9990 seeks to make rewards for national athletes and coaches tax-exempt

The House of Representatives passed on third and final reading the proposed Hidilyn Diaz Act, which seeks a tax exemption on rewards for athletes and coaches in international competitions.

Voting with 205 affirmative votes and no negative votes or abstentions, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 9990 on Tuesday, August 31, just a month after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz bagged the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal during the Tokyo Games.

The bill was filed in response to the outpouring of rewards given to Diaz, which amounted to at least P56.5 million as of August 2.

House passes proposed Hidilyn Diaz Act

One of the proponents of the measure, Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda, said that without the tax exemption bill, Diaz would have to pay around P14.5 million in tax.

The bill seeks to insert a provision in Republic Act No. 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits Act.

It seeks to add this line in Section 4-A: “All incentives, rewards, bonuses, and other forms of emoluments, as well as donations, gifts, endowment, and contributions…shall be exempt from any and all national or local taxes, fees, charges.”

While the bill was quickly passed in the House, a counterpart measure in the Senate, filed by Senator Pia Cayetano, remains pending at the committee level. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.