House Bill (HB) 4054 wants to have its cake and eat it, too.
The proposal, authored among others by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas, Minority Leader Danilo Suarez and Rep. Jericho Nograles, provides that “any donation, contribution, gift and grant of real or personal property to any Filipino athlete, who has won for the Philippines a bronze, silver or gold medal in the Summer Olympic Games, shall constitute an allowable deduction from the income of the donor for income-tax purposes and shall be exempt from donor’s tax in accordance with the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended.”
HB 4054 puts the donor in a win-win situation, not having gambled on the Filipino Olympic hopeful before actual competition.
Under the bill, the potential donor is far removed from the combat zone, joining the fray only after a Pinoy athlete will have won an Olympic medal of any color.
No Filipino sportsman or sportswoman has been crowned as champion in the Olympic Games in nearly 100 years of Philippine participation in the quadrennial event, regarded as the greatest sports show on earth.
Thus, donors most likely would swamp most especially the first-ever winner of an Olympic gold medal with all material forms of recognition possible, although HB 4054 limits to P1 million the donation that would be eligible for the allowable tax deduction.
Such recognition serves the Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR mantra of a potential donor-firm that would translate to more French fries or shampoos being sold.
Such donor-firm should take more risks by investing in the Pinoy athlete, not to play it safe by parting with its car, house-and-lot or any other prize only after the athlete delivers the goods.
It would be better if the House of Representatives passed a bill that required potential donors to shoulder the training and other expenses of the Filipino most likely to have a good shot at an Olympic medal before they can make a donation of any kind later.
That condition, of course, would be hard to meet but businessmen are both gamblers and risk takers, are they not?
No local athlete stands a chance of being declared an Olympic champion without the support of the private sector—the source of potential donors—unless of course a Philippine government body similar to UK Sport sprouts in these parts.
The road to hell is paved with the good intentions of House Bill 4054, which smacks of the ways of a segurista in any donor.