Friday August 17, 2018

Sangil: ‘Sobrang mahal ang mga bilihin’

IS IT the Train law sponsored by Senator Sonny Angara why commodity prices are shooting up the roof and not few centavos are left of the ordinary wage earners?

Go to the marketplaces anywhere, and the hush hush among shoppers is “sobrang mahal ang mga bilihin at ultimong bawang.”

In the early years, when I was still in my shorts, and my mother Beatriz was running a carinderia in the public market of Porac, I can even ask for free some pieces from the corner store. How in heaven's name that happened?

When the reform package was being debated on the senate floor, those who favored the law didn’t see the certainty of rising commodity prices. Or some are really stupid that they believed that they are doing the poor a favor. OMG. Or they knew about it, but nonetheless they succumbed to the pressure of the palace.

It is not only onion prices breaching the roof but many basic market commodities. And economic students are taught that prices and wages are related. A family of four in Metro Manila and some urban cities, the father earning P500 per day can't send the two kids to school if they are renting an apartment. The water and electric bills are monthly concerns. Medicines and transport fares, plus, plus... The P500 will not last a day.

The financial managers in the country are claiming that there is a dramatic increase in the gross domestic product (GDP), and off-shore rating agencies like Fitch and Standard and Poors' statistic are in accord. But do they really ask the wage earners? (The GDP, by the way, is the total output in production and services.)

The GDP is being is being commonly used as a disguise to an imagined success but the reality on the ground many families can hardly cope up.

Maybe to some people living on gated subdivisions, and the corrupt people in government find life easy in this country with them sending their kids to exclusive schools, vacationing abroad and splurging for signature brands in Italy and elsewhere. But “what about us?” asked the school kids whose families are in the squatter colonies.

How many times we've heard that death and taxes are sure things. Accepted. But what cannot be accepted by the common workers why the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has to impose a tax reform package which is a heavy load for ordinary people. Bonuses are not wages. The taxes collected from common workers can be likened to a small catch of the fisherman caught from shallow waters. If the fishermen (BIR) go to the mid-sea where there are the big fishes (Chinoy tycoons, Kastilaloy property developers, casino operators, importers, manufacturers, mall operators, etc.) maybe it can spare the small fries.

President Duterte cannot be considered rich, but can’t be called poor either. His father was a governor of Davao and his family was able to send him to San Beda College in Manila. I can presume they had maids whom he can ask what kind of food he wanted to eat for dinner.

Same thing with our many senators, congressmen, cabinet members, agency heads and even magistrates. When these people, particularly the politicians when interviewed by media their hearts and concerns are for the poor. B-****hit.