Lawmaker wants tax exemption on rewards for national athletes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 28) — A lawmaker on Wednesday filed a bill in the House of Representatives seeking tax exemption on rewards given to Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz as well as other national athletes and coaches who win honors for the country in international sports events.

In pushing House Bill 9891, or the Hidilyn Diaz Act of 2021, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said that as a "way to express the State’s solidarity and congratulations," incentives for the athletes should be free from all taxes, fees, and charges levied by any government agency.

He proposed that the exemption be applied to “rewards, bonuses, and other forms of emoluments."

The measure was filed in the wake of the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in 97 years, which was clinched by Diaz on Monday.

Since her historic triumph at the Tokyo Olympics, the weightlifter from Zamboanga has received an outpouring of commendation and material support, amounting to tens of millions of pesos, both from the private sector and the government.

“Considering that the representations these athletes and coaches make in international competitions are officially endorsed by, and made in behalf of, the State, these foregone revenues ultimately redound to the benefit of the State, whose goals and objectives these athletes and coaches promote,” Salceda said.

If passed into law, the measure would amend Republic Act No. 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.