THIS series would have ended in part 3, but the cheap shot could not just be ignored. Its’ the statement that every household will only be taxed 5 pesos per month. A small amount no doubt. It is even less than what we are expected to give to self-styled parking attendants who seem to be part of a shadowy organization in our city. Others say that it is an act we do out of fear that one’s car may end up broken into, or worse, scratched for being a miser. Or maybe to support the entrepreneurial spirit and grit of even those who should be in school instead.
And now we have our local government and a sacrosanct COWD wanting to impose another tax, no matter how small as claimed, on us the consumers. I say sacrosanct “nga ma-Emano o ma-Moreno”, a newly-appointed director, who also is the Executive Director of the Cagayan de Oro River Basin, can only think of a tax, make us consumers pay for what is so clear as the corruption of the concept of payment for environmental services or PES, and once again free the water agency and their private partners who make money out of extracting our natural resources and pass on the burden to us.
But is it small? No. The actual amount is 0.25 centavos per cubic meter consumed. And for one to be paying 5 pesos monthly, that means one has to be consuming no more than 20 cubic meters. Most of Kagay-anons do. The sector of our population who have no choice but to walk from home to work or school because 5 pesos can already buy one a piece of bread. So our air-conditioned driven, tax-paid executives now want to take that 5 pesos from a household every month. Cheap shot.
But it is never the amount that really matters to me. What is of value to this writer is the fact that this tax to be imposed to us, is being done in the name of that hallowed phrase “to restore, protect and preserve the environment.” Really?
How many millions were collected form those plastic grocery bags we all had to pay for years?
How many millions are collected from those engaged in quarrying?
And more specifically, how much has the Cagayan de Oro Water District spent to plant trees for the decades that this agency has been making money out of producing and distributing water for Kagay-anons?
And to our City Government, how much has been allocated and spent for our beloved watersheds, with the almost doubling of our annual budget, since the Kaabags took majority of the Council seats?
The value we expect from our Aldermen is to enact ordinances which conform to public good. We expect that they educate so that the majority would know what it is like to be upright and self-respecting men and women who without need of an ordinance would follow rules and regulations, as they themselves exemplify as public servants. We in the private sector need not run for public office. Fact is, we contribute to this City more than you. You are all paid to do your job as best as you could. But we are not only taxed. We also spend our productive years to help those in need: the orphans, the elderly, those who are trafficked, the drug-dependents and others. So it is with great disappointment that all you and your team can think about is tax us more when there are so many other ways to achieve the same purpose.
I have been with the incumbent Mayor when he first ran as Mayor of this City. And from day one, I listened attentively to what he said morning and night for months when we campaigned together. Even if he spoke last, I stayed till the end. I did so to know his heart, where his passion was and to where he intended our people to be, once he takes over the wheel as Chief Executive. But never did I hear him say that he intended to tax Kagay-anons more. Or did I hear wrong? So I wonder whose bag the Honorable Councilor is left holding, that even my third article had to wait to be published, so that it will be side by side with that of the Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro. A really cheap shot.