Special bill filed to exempt Pia Wurtzbach from tax
We love Miss Universe, but doesn't Congress have more important things to worry about?
(Photo from pep.ph)
(SPOT.ph) Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach’s earnings from the prestigious pageant are currently the subject of a tug-of-war between the Bureau of Internal Revenue and two congressmen who aim to exempt her from paying taxes.
Brothers Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao Party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez filed House Bill 6367 to give the 26-year-old beauty queen, who also hails from Cagayan de Oro City, special exemptions for her earnings as Miss Universe. Pia will reportedly earn U.S $300,000 (roughly P14.3 million) among other personal perks from her one-year contract as Miss Universe's reigning queen.
“In view of the tremendous achievement of Kagay-anon Ms. Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach and for bringing pride and honor to the Philippines by winning the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, it is only right that all her winnings and prizes be exempt from any form of taxes and duties,” the solons said. They added that Pia is deserving of special tax privileges after putting an end to the country’s Miss Universe title drought that lasted 42 years.
Earlier, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares reminded Pia Wurtzbach to compute for and declare her winnings once she returns to the Philippines on January 23. “Wala ho kaming karapatan na magbigay ng tax exemption...Pantay-pantay ho ang paga-apply ho natin diyan. Ang piso ni Juan ay piso din ni Maria. So dapat ang pagbu-buwis pareho,” said Henares. The BIR also said only Congress can make a move to exempt the beauty queen's earnings from taxes with special legislation, similar to the one passed in 1964 for Miss International Gemma Cruz-Araneta.