Tax exemption with retroactive effect sought on cash rewards, incentives for Olympic medalists

Published August 4, 2021, 10:49 AM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Pia Cayetano is seeking the grant of tax exemptions on the rewards and donations to be given to Olympic medalists and their coaches.

Senator Pia Cayetano sponsors on July 27, 2021 a resolution commending weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist. (Office of Senator Cayetano)

Cayetano on Tuesday, August 3, filed Senate Bill No. 2341, which calls to amend the country’s tax code to exempt all cash incentives, rewards, and donations received by Olympic medalists and their coaches from taxes, fees and charges imposed by the government.

“While incentives received by the athletes are exempted from tax as provided for in Section 32 of the National Internal Revenue Code, those received from the private sector are still subject to six percent donor’s tax,” Cayetano, who chairs the Senate Ways and Means Committee, noted in her bill.

The measure, she added, “[recognizes] the pivotal role of private companies and individuals as government’s partners in supporting Filipino athletes,” she added.

Under her proposal, the tax exemption, if passed and signed into law, shall have a retroactive effect to cover national athletes and coaches who won medals in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Filipino athletes made history during the Tokyo olympics, after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz bagged the Philippines’ first-ever olympic gold medal.

The country will also have its highest medal haul since the 1932 Los Angeles games, with Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio also winning a silver medal, and fellow athletes Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam assured of podium finish in their respective boxing divisions.

In 1932, the Philippines won three medals..