The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) will stop the collection of P500 Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) tax from each candidate in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE), according to Bohol First District Representative Edgar Migriño Chatto.
Chatto said that COMELEC Chairman George Garcia will issue a memorandum on this matter either today or this week, following the intervention of Chatto and Deputy Minority Leader Paul Daza in Congress.
The two lawmakers raised the issue of the BIR memorandum that required each BSKE candidate to register with the BIR and pay a fee of P500, which they said was unconstitutional and burdensome for the candidates, especially the youth.
The BIR memorandum was challenged and questioned by the COMELEC, BIR and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) before the plenary session of the Congress.
Chatto also revealed that there were some candidates, particularly SK aspirants, who wanted to withdraw their candidacy and not pursue their political ambitions because of the additional requirements and fees imposed by the BIR.
The COMELEC argued that the BIR tax violated Article 5, Section 1 of the Constitution which states “No literacy, property or any substantive requirement shall be imposed in the exercise of suffrage,” Chatto said.