Tolentino seeks tax deduction for WFH employees

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2020   •   471

Senator Francis Tolentino is proposing a tax deduction for work-from-home (WFH) employees, particularly on electricity consumption, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Tolentino said he would file a bill with committee chairman Senator Sherwin Gatchalian that aims to “provide a reasonable deduction on the gross income of any taxpayer who has incurred additional electricity consumption while working at home.”

Ito pong ginastos ng ating mga nagtatrabaho sa bahay, pwedeng ikarga bilang deductible expense sa pagbabayad ng buwis dahil po nabawasan ang gastos ng kanilang pinapasukan (The expenses of the WFH employees can be accounted as deductible expense because their companies are saving up on costs),” he said.

READ: Meralco apologizes for ‘bill shock’; to explain bill computation

Meanwhile, the senator also asked Meralco to make its messaging clearer and simpler for consumers after the confusion over its monthly billing during the lockdown period. AAC

Medical teams sent to Davao City to help manage rising COVID-19 cases – Galvez

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The government has deployed medical teams to Davao City to help address the surge of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

During a cabinet meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, Galvez said six doctors and 13 nursing staff were deployed to the city to assist the already “overwhelmed” personnel of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) amid the uptick in COVID-19 infections.

The teams will also help improve Davao City’s COVID-19 referral and emergency operations systems.

Galvez noted that Davao City has seen a 68-percent increase in infection rate in recent days.

He also said that the task force had previously sent medical equipment and medicines to SPMC to manage severe coronavirus cases.

Members of the task force also visited Davao City last week to assess the situation.

“Sa ngayon po, medyo nag-i-stabilize ang Davao. At nagpadala na rin po tayo ng mga tinatawag po natin na high-flow nasal cannula at nagpadala rin po tayo ng mga Avigan — na mga compassionate drug para po makatulong po sa mga severe cases po natin,” Galvez said in his report to the president.

He said the teams sent to Davao were also the ones that assisted Cebu City in curbing the surge in coronavirus cases.

Inter-Agency Task Force Chief Implementer for Visayas, retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano and his team, as well as Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega are also in Davao City, according to Galvez.

Quezon City gov’t, Congress to work closely to Batasan COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government and the House of Representatives have agreed to work closely to control and manage the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the lower chamber.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Monday said House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco have committed to provide the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) with a copy of the reported COVID-19 cases in Congress for contact tracing purposes.

To assist the House of Representatives, the city government will dispatch its mobile testing UNIT that will administer PCR swab test to its employees.

Velasco previously instructed the team in-charge to prepare a comprehensive report on the results of the mass COVID-19 testing conducted in Congress and submit it immediately to the city government.

Before Congress resumed session in November, Velasco initiated the COVID testing in the lower chamber.

“We wanted to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the Batasan Complex – House Members, employees, and even guests— while the legislative chamber carries out its constitutional duties in these critical times,” he said.

The city government earlier learned that the Lower House recorded 28 Covid-19 cases.

“Contact tracing is important so we can isolate possible carriers and to protect communities,” Belmonte said.

Shoppers pack street in Divisoria Market amid COVID-19 threat

Robie de Guzman   •   November 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Marketgoers still trooped to Divisoria in Manila on Monday despite appeals from authorities to limit their movement and observe strict health protocols amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a report in UNTV’s Ito Ang Balita by Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr., people packed Ilaya street in Divisoria where stalls were put up by the city government, not mindful of tarpaulins reminding shoppers to follow social distancing and other protocols.

Shopper Romer Camus admitted to having apprehensions at first in going to Divisoria but said he only had this time to buy some stuff in line with the upcoming holiday season.

November 30, Bonifacio Day, is a non-working holiday in the country.

“Natatakot at first pero naka-face shield naman kami, naka-face mask po. Tapos, yun nga po wala ng proper distancing po. Yun lang kasi kailangan talaga naming mamimili po. Tapos, bukas may pasok na rin kami,” he said.

Local authorities in Manila have been appealing to marketgoers to practice social distancing and to avoid conglomerating in a space.

However, they admitted to having difficulty in enforcing the protocols when the crowding of people becomes uncontrollable.

“Lagi naman ho namin silang pinapaalalahanan na magsuot ng face mask, face shield, at social distancing po. Yun nga po, hindi namin sila mapigilan,” said Manuel Villanueva, a barangay officer in Manila.

During the holiday season, many Filipinos go to Divisoria to buy goods that are sold at affordable prices. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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