Amid a vigorous campaign to secure a new law that would secure fair tax rates for private schools, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines formally installed new officers in online ceremonies last Sept. 4.
Installed as the new COCOPEA chairperson is Dr. Anthony Jose M. Tamayo, President of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) and the University of Perpetual Help-DALTA System.
In his inaugural address, Dr. Tamayo said that his term will push for the passage of the law clarifying the tax rate for proprietary educational institutions before the end of the sessions of the 18th Congress.
On Aug. 3, the House of Representatives’ ways and means committee headed by Rep. Joey Salceda passed House Bill 9913, or “An Act Clarifying the Income Taxation of Proprietary Educational Institutions, Amending for the Purpose Sec. 27 (B) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.” The Lower House passed the bill on third reading on August 23.
A counterpart bill in the Senate is still pending.
According to the House measure, the tax rates for proprietary schools was pegged at 10 percent on taxable income. The bill came about after the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued a regulation last April that set a 25 percent tax rate for schools despite a 10 percent tax rate that has been applied to schools since 1968. Also, under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law that was passed to enable companies survive the economic effects of the pandemic, private schools were levied a 1 percent tax as a form of relief.
COCOPEA had protested the BIR regulation, saying it would lead to the closures of many schools and affect many students and teachers.
In July, the BIR stopped the implementation of the controversial regulation.
“COCOPEA takes the lead in public policy development in behalf of the give educational associations under its umbrella. COCOPEA has been a vanguard in promoting, advancing, and safeguarding the interest of the private sector in the country. This has always been COCOPEA’s role and it will continue to carry out this role under my term,” Dr. Tamayo said in his speech.
Other programs that COCOPEA would be pursuing under his term are promoting voter education in the education sector; participation in policy preparations for the reopening of schools to limited physical classes; advocating support for teachers, school personnel, students and educational institutions in the economic stimulus package or Bayanihan 3; and ensuring the “complimentarity” relationship between the private and public sector in proposed education reforms.
“Most of these plans are within reach and with your fervent prayers and support, I am confident that COCOPEA will continue to be an eminent and vital organization that serves to further the noble interests and welfare of private educational institutions.”
As chairperson, Dr. Tamayo leads COCOPEA’s executive committee that includes Sr. Ma. Marissa R. Viri, RVM, president of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP); Judge Benjamin D. Turgano (Ret.), president of the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities (ACSCU); Dr. Lourdes Almeda-Sese, president of the Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAPSCU); and Fr. Onofre G. Inocencio Jr., SDB, Ed.D, president of the Tech-Voc Schools Association of the Philippines (TVSA).
Other executive officers of COCOPEA include Dr. Vicente Fabella, Chief Adviser; Atty. Joseph Noel M. Estrada, Managing Director; and Laurice Faye R. Juarez, Treasurer.
Anthony is the son of Dr./Brig. Gen. Antonio Laperal Tamayo and Dr. Daisy Moran Tamayo, the founders of the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA and the Perpetual Help Medical Center both in Las Pinas.
Founded in 1961, COCOPEA is the umbrella organization of private schools in the country and takes the lead in public policy development for the sector. There are some 2500 private schools around the country that comprise this umbrella organization.