screw the status quo. we need change and we need it now. we need not a leader who plays with words and public funds. we need not a leader whose years of service fall under the 'fiction' category. we definitely need not a leader who knows nothing. we require a leader who has conviction, who has the guts to change the seemingly unchangeable. we need... to prepare for 2007. Now.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Value Added Terror

It’s true what they say now days if you want to piss yourself off go right ahead and watch the news. The news is becoming now a days another form of sadistic torture to the citizens of this country. I try as much as I can to appreciate our 6.1% GDP growth and the rise once more of our Philippine peso. But man oh man! Does this administration manage to always cook my goose or what? 12% VAT bill won't directly hit the consumers? And get this! They promise to make it ineffective after 3 years (didn't I hear the same bullsh!t during the Ramos administration?)! But it does not stop there! they are also planning to tax professionals such as doctors and lawyers (Boy do I see more doctors taking up nursing courses to get out of this god forsaken countries)!

Let’s recall history here. During the Ramos Administration the VAT laws were seen as the primary solution to the problem of our foreign debts. They also said that they would make the law ineffective the moment they see that there was no longer a need for such. But the VAT laws became the EVAT (Expanded Value added tax). 10 years later, not only is the VAT law still effective, it did not even reduce the amount of foreign debt that we have to pay. In fact it even increased to unimaginable heights. Fact of the matter is, 80% of our foreign debts were not even used to benefit the common people. Yet our unborn great great great great grandsons will have to pay for it. The prices of basic commodities and services made a painFULL increase just last year. Wow! Talk about perfect timing for the 12% VAT bill! And according to our "noble" congressmen we all should do our part to solve the growing budget deficit problem. All I have to say to that is... "Oh Yeah?! You first knuckle head!"

But there is simply one question here that they haven't satisfactorily answered. Why did we have a budget deficit in the first place? Doesn't the government have enough source of revenue? If they ask more taxes from its people does that necessarily mean that we will already solve our problem with budget deficit. My answer in one word is NO! in two words Hell No! Another 10 years will pass and we will still be right back where we started. It’s a simple cause and effect relationship. misallocation of the budget, government overspending, inefficient tax collection measures, and of course massive government corruption (which by the way has already become a culture Horaay! Horaay!) are some of the reasons why we have this deficit. Say for example the source of revenues, is awater flow, which is collected by a basin, and which in turn is the national treasury/budget. Then water collected from this basin is used for various government necessities. Unfortunately the basin has several holes underneath it, but the problem becomes worse because right beneath the holes is a huge vacuum that sucks all the water to where it is not supposed to be. Need I explain what the vacuum and holes represent? Ok so moving on, we can't therefore simply solve the problem by increasing the water flow. We have to fix the basin first or better yet get a new one.

So much was spent by the president herself to spoil her Generals, her Cabinet members, and even GOCC Presidents. They get High salaries, healthy benefits, luxury cars which are bought and fuelled by tax payers money, and not to mention government positions and contracts. All to assure the she has their loyalty. The one thing that scares her right now is loosing her precious political allies, otherwise she’s a sitting duck to the opposition. She did not even have the decency to reprimand GSIS president Winston Garcia for using its funds so he can make a salary loan to buy a new shiny Volvo. While there are hundreds of government employees who can't even file a salary loan so that their children can go to school? tsk tsk tsk!

Which reminds me of another thing? What happened to her austerity program? was that some sort of a suggestion or a policy? I think that was more of a publicity gimmick. As we all can see, her administration does not have the political will to implement that policy. How dare does congress ask for more taxes when they themselves manage to unliquidate 200 million pesos. And most of them are not even willing to sacrifice even a portion of their pork barrels? Yet here they are bitching us for more taxes.According also to the data of SEC and BIR, there is an estimate of about 50 billion peso worth of taxes uncollected annually. Yet tax evaders manage to shake hands with the president herself during social functions? Not to mention the 200 million worth of uncollected VAT. So tell me? Shoudn't they address this problems first before they ask us for more? Can't these people get a clue that the poor has nothing more to give?

I think the best solution for this problem is for GMA to stop being such a spineless coward and start implementing her policies with firm conviction. But of course if she does that her list of allies will grow thin, she might even have to go up against her ownhusband for the Jose Pidal issue. It’s not an easy job but someone has to do it. This is the problem of our politics, every time politicians want to do the right thing, they want the public to kiss their asses. Fact is you have to declare war if you want to reform this country, and at times you have to act like a one-man army to fight it. If tax collections are done properly and are allocated properly then I think there wouldn't be any need for a 12% VAT. And it should be made sure that tax laws in this country will be taken seriously. We should also be able declare war against corruption, and it should start by imprisoning Erap to send a strong message that no one is above the law. Ok so maybe you think I’m being overly idealistic here. But in the end, it is all a matter of political will, P-O-L-I-T-C-A-L W-I-L-L, something that progressive countries have. And oh yeah maybe GMA should take lessons from Francisco Colayco about austerity. --Ahmad


Blogger de Villa said...

here, here. Great article

7:43 AM


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