By Maila Ager | Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A bill granting fiscal incentives to bicycle commuters has been filed in the Senate.
Senate Bill No. 2924, known as “An act granting incentives to encourage and promote commuting by bicycles or other non-motorized transport vehicles, and for other purposes,” will entitle employees who regularly and mainly use bicycles or other non-motorized transport vehicles as means of transport to and from their places of work to an annual tax deduction of P2,500 from their gross income.
“Expenses incurred by employers or schools in providing their employees or students, by way of benefits, bicycles and non-motorized transport vehicles, eligible equipment, and bike-friendly facilities shall be deductible in full from their gross income,” the bill states.
Bicycles and other non-motorized transport vehicles granted by employers to its managerial and supervisory employees in compliance will not also be taxable under the bill.
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he filed the bill to address the primordial problems of air pollution, traffic and road congestion, rising costs of gasoline and other commodities, personal health problems, and other related social issues.
“This bill seeks to introduce a world-renowned approach to solving the above primordial problems of our society: the promotion and re-invigoration, by way of fiscal incentives, of bicycle commuting on Philippine roads,” Marcos said in his explanatory note in the bill.
The proposed legislation, Marcos said, also seeks to “incentivize” bicycle use as a mode of daily transport, particularly the use by workers and students, in order to maintain the present bicycle-commuting scene and also attract more bicycle users in the country.
“The specific targets are the employees and students who shall be the direct participants in the fiscal incentive program or system, as well as the employees, schools, companies and other institutions that shall provide the conditions for the system,” Marcos said.
“Riders and direct users are benefited by bicycle-related facilities and tax deduction incentives, while indirect participants are benefited also by way of tax deduction on expenses and corporate social responsibility programs,” he pointed out.