Sotto pushes tax exemption for Hidilyn Diaz' rewards, gifts

Published July 28, 2021, 4:55 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Vicente Sotto III directed on Wednesday, July 28, the chamber’s rules committee to look into the possibility of pushing tax exemptions for the rewards and gifts to be given to Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz.

Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz (AFP)

During the Senate’s plenary session, Sotto asked Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri to study the possible filing and adoption of a resolution that will urge the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to grant exemptions to Diaz’ prizes.

“Majority Leader, may I request the committee on rules to study the possibilty of filing a reslution rurging the Bureau of Internal Revenue to exempt Hidilyn Diaz to taxes of her winnings as an Olympic gold medalist,” Sotto told Zubiri, rules committee chairperson.

Zubiri, in response, said: “We shall do that, sir. Because we have to see if there legal implications or violation of law. So the commitee on rules can study that.”

On Wednesday, BIR deputy commissioner Marissa Cabrera said that Diaz’ prizes are tax-exempt under the Tax Code.

Rewards from the private sector, however, are still subject to a donor’s tax. The tax shall be paid by the donors and not the recipient, said the BIR.

Diaz is expected to receive over P40 million in cash reward and pledges from the government, public officials and business executives after bagging the Philippines’ first gold medal in the Olympics since joining the games in 1924.

On Tuesday, July 27, the Senate approved a resolution commending and congratulating the Filipina weightlifter.

“She’s the epitome that everything is achievable if you focus and work hard to reach your dreams no matter how high or impossible it may seem,” Sotto said of Diaz.

“Hidilyn’s win is being celebrated not only because it is historic as the first-ever gold Olympic medal in almost a century, but also because of the fact that it happened in the middle of a pandemic when every move is a struggle and when we all needed a ray of light. Thus, her success during these tough times make it sweeter not only for her but all the Filipinos all over the world,” the Senate President added.