Honoring Miss Universe: House mulls tax exemption for Pia Wurtzbach

MANILA, Philippines – After everything she has won thus far, how else can you honor Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach

Some lawmakers are hoping to pass as soon as possible House Bill 6367, which seeks to exempt Wurtzbach from paying taxes on her winnings in the pageant.

Wurtzbach, who arrived in Manila on Saturday, January 23, for her homecoming, will pay courtesy calls to leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives next week.

She will receive the Congressional Medal of Distinction at the House on Tuesday, January 26. 

Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez, who filed HB 6367, said in an ANC interview on Saturday that he is confident Congress will enact the proposed bill that will "forego the P4.5 million" in taxes that Wurtzbach reportedly has to pay.

Asked to respond to the proposal, Malacañang said on Saturday that Wurtzbach "would appreciate this very much."

"'Yan ang kapangyarihan ng Kongreso (Congress has the power to do that), and I'm sure they are thinking of the maximum benefit for all of us, and I'm sure they are thinking of the maximum benefit for all of us," Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office head, said in an interview on radio dzRB.

Quezon said Wurtzbach's success in the prestigious pageant not only brings pride to the nation but also unites the country.

Wurtzbach will pay a courtesy call to President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang on Tuesday.

Asked if Malacañang has prepared something special for Wurtzbach, Quezon answered: "I think it's enough na bilang ang symbolism nito na ang Palasyo ng bayan at ang pinuno ng ating pamahalaan at lipunan ay siyang magrerepresent sa ating lahat sa pagbibigay-pugay at galang kay Ms Wurtzbach."

(I think it's enough symbolism that Malacañang, and the leader of our country, will represent the rest of us in honoring Ms Wurtzbach.)

After a 42-year drought for the Philippines, Wurtzbach won the Miss Universe crown in 2015. She follows the footsteps of Filipina Miss Universe winners Gloria Diaz who won in 1969, and Margarita Moran, who won in 1973. – Rappler.com