MANILA—Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is pushing for tax relief for victims of calamities.
Arroyo filed House Bill No. 4373, which seeks to grant tax exemptions on donations to calamity victims residing in areas where a state of calamity has been declared.
The bill also seeks to exempt residents in the area from paying real estate taxes for two years from the declaration of a state of calamity.
Arroyo noted that the steady flow of donations have been stalled by bureaucratic red tape.
In her explanatory note, Arroyo said donors are faced with a hefty donor’s tax, and those who would avail of an exemption are further deterred with stiff accreditation process on the top of the requirements they need to submit to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Under the law, donors also have to submit paperwork to the BIR for audit procedures.
“The display of camaraderie and empathy by ordinary citizens who risked their lives to save strangers was a common scene (during times of calamities). Even hard-earned savings were given freely to charitable organizations to augment relief operations and to serve more of those affected. This display of heroism and gallantry, however, also brought into the limelight a few bureaucratic glitches that impeded the steady flow of donations,” Arroyo said.
“The objective of the bill is to address all these concerns by allowing tax exemption of donations as long as a state of calamity is declared by the proper Sanggunian and regardless of the nature of business of the donee organization so as not to hamper funds from coming in,” she added.