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What your income tax says about you
April, 17th 2017

As the nation went into Holy Week mode, I saw a TV interview about the evils in government importing rice. The interview “appeared” and “sounded” like one of those academic assessment of government policy and decision, but in reality was far from being fair or factual. It was an interview with someone who was clearly representing and promoting the commercial interest of Rice Importers who were going to lose their business after President Digong Duterte declared that the NFA will do the buying of rice locally and will be the only one to import any amount of rice in case of shortage. Just to show his serious intent, DU30 reportedly sent an Undersecretary in Malacañang her walking papers for being contrarian to the President’s campaign promise.

It seems to me that just about every major interest group or trade cartel in the Philippines now has some people or pseudo NGO fronting for them or promoting their interests. Not content with “Lobbying,” they have now hired or funded these pseudo NGOs or Activists to appear on Radio or TV aided by friendly Media to make it appear that their causes and interests are pure and pro people. In a Pig’s Eye!

I have just had enough of people who say: “We’re doing this because government can’t be trusted” or “Government procurement is corrupt” etc., etc! Every time these losers and cry babies want public sympathy they play “the government is corrupt” card. Just so they can make their multi-billion profits from over priced products, smuggled or mis-declared imports they do everything in their power to make government and government officials look and sound corrupt! The bad part is that we Filipinos who are victimized by profiteers are so lazy or so used to the lies that we don’t step back far enough to see the truth. In fact when rice, sugar, cement or LPG go up, we join in crucifying the government instead of hounding the profiteering merchants or importers.

What I can’t figure out is why Malacañang especially the Secretary of Justice or the OSG has not paid attention to these liars and destabilizers and filed charges against them for making sweeping accusations particularly about corruption? Until someone is punished for such libelous statements, these interest groups and destabilizers are not going to stop. And don’t use the “Freedom of the Press” card on me because that Freedom is based on Truth, Balance, Fairness, Responsibility and above all Accountability.

There was a News Black Out that slowly started on Maundy Thursday April 13 all the way to Black Saturday April 15. Much of it had to do with the alleged observation of Holy Week but was in fact just an excuse for many radio and TV stations to give their people and equipment a rest and undergo some servicing or rehabilitation. Most people took it in stride but given that there were sketchy reports about an incoming typhoon, sightings of an Abu Sayyaf group in the Visayas area as well as serious concerns or demand for information on traffic situations in and out of Manila, Baguio or Southern Luzon, I got the impression that the National Broadcasting Network or government media missed a huge opportunity to fill in the gap and make an appreciable difference.

The only ones who remained on air were the “Christian stations” that took advantage of the opportunity of the nationwide “Dead Air.” Unfortunately most of them were local except for DZAS/FEBC but also did not have the network and manpower of NBN. I don’t want to sound like a heathen but a lot of people wanted to know about the status of Typhoon Crising, whether or not there would be “Odd-Even” on Monday, and how heavy the traffic was leaving Manila on Good Friday and driving back Black Saturday. If the people running the government News Network want to be “competitive” and live up to the challenge set by President Duterte, they should stop “following the leader” and set their own path. Even in media it is all about customer needs.

Because my birthday falls on April 14, I am always aware that it is also the deadline for payment of Annual Income Taxes. Some friends have wondered if the timing puts a damper on celebrating ones birthday the same way some people feel cheated for being born on Christmas Day and end up getting only one gift for two occasions. Having to worry about tax payments just when you should be planning a birthday party might be a bummer. But this year I gained a different perspective about income taxes.

Don’t look at what you have to pay the government.

Instead, look at what you earned in the last year. Is it something you should be thanking God for? Is it a good reflection of your skills, talents and work you put in? Did you pay tithes on all the money or income God sent your way? Or is it a bad representation of what you are capable of? What did you have to give up for it? When Filipinos travel abroad they go out of their way to find the Money Changer with the best exchange rate. In your case what did you turn in for the cash? Family time, health, knowledge, or relationships? Your total income determines your tax payment but it can also be your “grade” in terms of your performance, effort or skills” Use it as a gauge not a curse.

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