Rene wants additional travel tax exemptions

Rep. Rene L. Relampagos, of the first district of Bohol, joined the efforts to give travel tax discounts and exemptions to certain individuals.

During the hearing of the House Committee on Tourism, Rep. Relampagos joined his colleagues in pushing for two proposed legislations seeking additional benefits to senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) as defined under the law and country representatives to international sports tournaments, academic conferences and beauty pageants.

Under Presidential Decree No. 1183, only Filipino citizens who are permanent residents abroad, balikbayans who do not stay in the country longer than one year and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are given travel full tax exemptions while minors and dependents of OFWs enjoy discount. There are other qualified individuals mentioned under PD 1183.

The lawmaker said, “Under the proposed law, senior citizens and PWDs will be given the uniform discount rate of 20 percent while students, athletes, academic conference participants and beauty pageants contestants will be given full exemption from travel tax.”

According to the principal author of the bill, “Sports tournaments, academic conferences and competitions, both local and international, are recognized as great venues where the youth of the country could excel and bring pride to their families, schools and the country. The same goes for winning representatives to international beauty pageants who proudly represent the Philippines.”

Relampagos added, “This is a very small consideration to them. After all, they bring honor to the country and we benefit from those who join academic conferences abroad. Anyway, they belong to a small percentage of our travelers and the tax consequence is miniscule compared to what they did to excel in their crafts not for themselves but for the country.”

He moved for the consolidation of the two proposed measures to one bill to expedite passage. The same was duly approved by the Committee.

The House Committee on Tourism, chaired by Rep. Relampagos during the 16th Congress, is now chaired by another third-termer lawmaker, Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez of the fourth district of Leyte.

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