A new substitute bill on the tax exemption of incentives for Filipino athletes has been given the thumbs by the House Committee on Ways and Means. 

The HD Act, which was named after the first Filipino Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, aims to grant tax incentives on cash donations and rewards given to athletes by private companies.

The bill is set to amend the Republic Act No. 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.

Under this new measure, bonuses, incentives, rewards, and emoluments awarded to national athletes and coaches, who compete in international sports contests, will be free from all taxes and other fees – be it from private or public entities.

The proposal was authored by House Ways and Means Chairman Joey Sarte Salceda and Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco immediately after Diaz took home the top-most honor in the 55-kilogram weightlifting category of the recently concluded Summer Summer Olympics. 

Diaz received an outpouring of rewards from both private companies and the state after her historic win in Tokyo, starting the discussions on tax exemptions for athletes.

The benefits granted by the bill will come into effect starting June 1, 2021. However, Salceda noted that they’re still in the process of finalizing the bill.

“There are still some issues to reconcile with the Committee on Youth and Sports, such as whether we want to include local sports competitions. But we’ll do that probably on the House floor. As for the duty of the Committee on Ways and Means, we have already dispensed it,” he explained. 

According to Salceda, the HD Act will move forward to the House plenary where it’s expected to gain immediate approval as a measure sponsored by the House Speaker.

Want more news like this one? Head over to Nation Builder PH Sports Section for the latest updates.

Image credit: House of Representatives Official Facebook Page