Buwisit (tax it)?-A A +A
Questions that Matter
Thursday, October 25, 2012
I WAS taught in our taxation class that taxes are the lifeblood of the society. Tax gives life to public service. It is through our taxes that the government exists. It is through our money that politicians and public servants fatten their bellies and live luxurious lives.
I remembered that when I was in grade school I often saw on trash trucks and trash cans the phrase, “This is where your taxes go.” It gave me the idea that at that time all our taxes went to waste. As I grew older, I saw in one cartoon of the Free Press that the taxes went into the pockets of fat-bellied politicians. So, from that time on, I saw that our taxes went to the pockets of politicians to finance their lavish lifestyles.
Today, my notion really is confirmed that the money we pay really finances the luxurious lives of many politicians.
The question now is why is it very hard for the Sin Tax Law to be passed? What makes our legislators hesitant on imposing higher taxes on commodities that kill us? Why are the legislators not afraid to levy higher taxes on basic commodities and are afraid to impose such on useless things? Is there something going on under our noses?
Philippine sin taxes had been passed decades ago and were very low compared to the billions and trillions of profit multinational and transnational companies are getting out of the “sins” they are producing.
The tobacco and alcoholic beverages are taxed lower than many other products in the country. With this, the proponents of the sin taxes law have seen the need to upgrade and increase taxation on these “sins.” Some proponents pulled out their petition for fear of I do not know what.
I was also taught that most taxation is not equal but equitable; we do not pay all the same but it depends upon one’s property or use of Philippine property. Like for example the income taxes that we pay. Government gets a share from the sweat we pour out to earn honest pay for a day’s work. Government would often tax 15 to 20 percent of our monthly income. Many would often clamor and complain of very high withholding taxes. Finance would always tell us that one cannot argue with the law.
Other taxes that I feel are unjust are those in donor’s taxes and inheritance taxes. In the donor’s tax, a donor is asked to pay of the property he or she has donated to individuals. He has to pay a certain amount over and above the donation of property. This is double jeopardy.
Congress should review this law. The connotation of donation may have been used before as a tax avoidance alibi. However, today, I could not see the logic of this tax. I hope legislators could touch this or at least revise this for the good of the people. If one shall donate something to people, one should be rewarded rather than penalized. It is only in this country where the one who does good is penalized.
Another “good” tax in this country is the Inheritance tax. One is given an inheritance from the deceased and he is levied with “inheritance tax” or estate tax. The dead has to pay, through heirs, an amount to government. An amount which sometimes, if not all the time, is incomprehensible to the ordinary citizen. This should be reviewed by Congress and should be in favor of the citizens over the government.
Lastly, Government should regulate well and watch over the gambling dens in the country. It seems that many of the people are now putting their hands on games of chance. Look at how many play or bet in lotto today? How much income and profit does one outlet get in one day? Isn’t lotto an illegal game and that would make the people lazy and crazy? This is one thing that government should really study well and legislate.
By the way, I saw many youngsters going inside the Casino last MassKara. Why does government allow youngsters and teenagers inside the gambling den? One can simply know the teenagers by their appearances and surely if one is strict, they should not be allowed in the house of sin? How much in taxes do casinos pay our government?
All we have to do now is sit and wait. This happened for good men did nothing! Shall we just sit? Just asking.
Belated Birthday greetings to Crem Legaspi who celebrated his birthday last October 24. My condolences also to the family of Carlos “Caloy” Rodriguez, UNO-R pioneer alumni.
St. Lorenzo Ruiz, St. Pedro Calungsod, St. Ezekiel Moreno, Blessed John Paul II, and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 25, 2012.