BY NOW everyone has heard of the travails of Manny Pacquiao, the famous Filipino boxer who can slug it out on the boxing mat, but is facing a possible knockout from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Pacquiao is the subject of a tax evasion case from the BIR after allegedly failing to pay P2.2 billion in income taxes from 2008 to 2009.

Today’s Data a Day question has nothing to do with Pacquiao, though. It has more to do with Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), the nameless millions who toil abroad with little or no government protection or recognition, just to be able to send some foreign currency home.

According to the National Statistics Office, there are around 2.2 million OFWs working at any one time abroad. These are the legal, listed, or registered OFWs who are recognized by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. There are even more out there who are unlisted and unregistered, and very much vulnerable.

Of course, Pacquiao is no OFW by any long shot – the staggering amounts that he is able to earn would be more than sufficient to happily send a few hundred thousand OFWs home. But if you can answer correctly today’s Data a Day, then you may have a good idea why Pacquiao would probably wish he was registered as an OFW like his other less fortunate countrymen.

Today’s Data a Day question:

Are OFWs exempt from income taxes?

For the answer to that question, visit the PCIJ’s Data a Day site, or come over and look at our MoneyPolitics Online website for more data that you can use – whether you’re Manny Pacquiao or not.




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