Tax exemption for Pacquiao?

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By Ben Emata

From Across the Seas

Monday, December 9, 2013

A CONGRESSMAN has filed a bill in Congress that would exempt Manny Pacquiao from paying taxes out of his income as a boxer and congressman too.

Many of my friends were laughing hard because the boxer who earns millions in dollars for his fights, win or loss, has caught the sympathy of his colleagues just because, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the boxer has not paid more than P2 billion in taxes. As a matter of fact, the BIR has filed a writ of garnishment and attachment to compel Pacquiao to meet his indebtedness with the government.

I am wondering what happened to some congressmen? They could have filed better bills in congress to help the millions of poor Filipinos who have no jobs, no shelters, no food, nothing on their persons.

Why Pacquiao who has millions of cash in the banks, which is now the subject matter of BIR legal moves? I think even Manny Pacquiao is laughing too for such ridiculous bill that really is incredible. If I were the congressman, I would study first my proposed bills before I had them exposed to the public. Things like these will necessarily boomerang us and even drive us to great laughter.

If our lawmakers try to walk around the countryside, they will discover who are really deserving of tax exemption because of poverty. Let them see the survivors in Tacloban and other Leyte towns, the earthquake victims in Bohol, the poor folks in Manila who sleep on the sidewalks, along the odorous river banks and creeks in Quiapo, the families of port workers in north and south harbor, the millions of people who could not eat well during the day and hardly sleep during the night. I am sure some of these people would prefer them to be dead rather than alive and in extreme poverty.

Pacquiao has lots of real and personal properties in the country, in the USA any anywhere else. He is a billionaire and drive flashy cars. It is true he donates some of his extra money to victims of typhoons but that do not make him a poor man that he should be entitled to a very special privilege of tax exemption.

Giving honor? Yes, Pacquiao has given the country honors because of his victories in boxing. Just like any other athletes, they gave us honor too. We have actors doing movies in Hollywood. We have famous Filipinos who climbed into stardom but they were never given such special attention as tax-free privilege.

If there is anyone we give tax exemption, we do not have to file bills to support that contention. Every one of us knows the tidal waves of poor people and truly they deserve to be exempted from paying taxes.

I hope the government, especially our lawmakers, realize how great are our desires to help people, but please, not the billionaires. We should even charge them more because of their extraordinary wealth. Help the poor. A lot of us are dying for lack of food and medicine and utter exposure to the elements and right away we know they are the members of society that deserve to be helped.

Pacquiao? My dear gentlemen of the house of Congress, let us think better than that. We better invoke the guidance of the divine providence.


Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 09, 2013.


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