THE House of Representatives approved on second reading a measure that will reduce the taxes of health frontliners.

In the plenary session on Tuesday, the lower house approved on second reading House Bill No. 8259, which will provide income tax relief to medical frontliners.

“I would like to thank all my colleagues for helping out in this very valuable measure,” according to Deputy Majority Leader Juan Miguel M. Arroyo after the measure was approved. Mr. Arroyo stood in for Albay 2nd District Representative Jose María Clemente S. Salceda, who was the original sponsor of the measure.

The bill was first approved by the House Committee on Ways and Means last month when it was still an unnumbered bill, known as the proposed “Handog sa mga Bayaning Lumaban Kontra COVID-19 Act.”

Under the measure, medical frontliners will enjoy a 25% discount on their income taxes this year. It covers health workers employed by institutions treating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.

Initially, legislators pushed for a tax exemption for all healthcare workers.

Mr. Salceda, who chairs the ways and means committee, said tax relief is a means of showing appreciation to health frontliners for services rendered during the COVID-19 pandemic. — Gillian M. Cortez