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MANILA — The bills granting Sarangani Representative and boxing champ Manny Pacquiao income tax exemption privileges will not prosper this 16th Congress.

This was declared by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., as he joined Malacanang and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in opposing the measure filed by Valenzuela City Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo I and BUHAY party-list Rep. Lito Atienza and fellow lawmakers from the House independent bloc.

“Not much chance if only because no one believes he cannot pay his taxes given his financial successes in his chosen profession,” he said in an interview when asked about the possibility of having the measure approved this 16th Congress.

The House Chief reminded that Congress should not extend special treatment to a particular individual.
“Those bills only extend special treatment to Rep. Pacquiao. Besides, he can always engage a lawyer,” he said.

“Let him be a champion in tax compliance also,” Belmonte said.

Gunigundo’s HB 3521 or the Pacquiao Act of 2013 grants a lifetime income tax exemption to Pacquiao for bringing honor and inspiration to the Filipino people while Atienza’s HB 3506 seeks to extend tax incentives to all athletes who gave honor to the country by winning international competitions.

BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares opposed Gunigundo’s measure, saying that it is “unfair” and “unconstitutional.”

Meanwhile, Malacanang said that it finds the proposal as unreasonable, reminding that paying taxes is one of the basic obligations of every Filipino citizen. (Manila Bulletin)