House leader seeks exemption of public school teachers’ salary from withholding tax

By on December 14, 2014

Photo courtesy of Laguna School Systems
Photo courtesy of Laguna School Systemsschool

MANILA — A House leader is seeking to exempt the income compensation of public school teachers from withholding tax to give them higher take home payand augment their resources.

Rep. Mark Llandro L. Mendoza (4th District, Batangas) raised the proposal through House Bill 5215, saying despite the immeasurable efforts and contributions of public school teachers to the country’s education sector and economy, they continue to struggle with their meager salaries and benefits.

“They take on an immense responsibility of molding today’s youth to become responsible and productive citizens of our country. Filipino teachers are indeed modern-day heroes for their steadfast commitment and selfless service in shaping the minds of our children and the future of our country. It is high time that genuine recognition andprivileges are given to the living heroes of our time,” said Mendoza.

He said his proposal to exempt the compensation income of public school teachers from withholding tax will address the plight of low-paid teachers. “The tax exemption will provide them higher take home pay to augment their resources to send their children to school and meet their basic and medical emergency needs, among others,” saidMendoza, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture and Food.

The lawmaker said his proposal is in line with Article XIV Section 5 of the Constitution which provides that “The State shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment.”

The proposal is also in fulfillment of Republic Act No. 4670, otherwise known as “The Magna Carta for Public School Teachers,” which provides “The State shall promote and improve the social and economic status of public school teachers, including those in the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).”

House Bill 5215, now pending at the Committee on Ways and Means chaired by Rep. Romero S. Quimbo (2nd District, Marikina City), provides for further amendment of Section 24, Paragraph A (2) of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997, as amended by Republic Act No. 9504 which pertains to Rates of Tax on Taxable Income of Individuals.

The amendment provides that “Teachers in public elementary and high schools, including instructors and professors in SUCs shall likewise be exempt from the payment of income tax on their taxable income. Theholiday pay, overtime pay, night shift differential pay and hazard pay received by such teachers, instructors and professors shall likewise be exempt from income tax.”