Friday, October 21, 2005

E-VAT Crap!

The Supreme Court of the Philippines recently lifted the TRO on the E-VAT bill. E-VAT will be effective starting November 1, 2005 as long as the bill is passed before that date. The E-VAT or Extended Value Added Tax is additional taxes imposed on fuel, electricity, and transportation among other previously VAT-exempt goods and services. The immediate effect of the E-VAT law's implementation will be to remove VAT exemptions on petroleum, electricity and professional fees of doctors and lawyers, among other vital sectors. This will automatically mean higher pump prices and electricity bills, not to mention charges for legal and medical services.

As a consumer, I am not in favor of the E-VAT since it will raise all the prices of gas and electricity which are considered basic needs nowadays. Not only that, professional fees will increase and surely the consumer will feel the blow of this especially those less-fortunate who couldn't afford normal tax-exempt fees, let alone legal and doctor's fees with E-VAT. I am speaking in terms of the consumer side, but when you look at the E-VAT on a long-term basis... I think it would be beneficial for the country and somewhat cure the fiscal crisis the Philippines is experiencing (IF!).

Thinking about the fiscal crisis... This crisis was caused by corruption in the first place. Truthfully, the Philippines is a very rich country in general but because of corruption, the rich get richer and the poor gets even poorer. The money of the Philippines as we all know is all underground (well sometimes, it can be seen and be so obvious but nobody can or wants to do anything about it)... think about the money moved during the elections, campaigning is big business and money movement is very very big. They can give millions of dollars to certain people to make them win but they can't give money to the poor instead. I don't get it?!? The government can pile-up cellphone bills upto 13 billion pesos but they need the consumers to shoulder the fiscal crisis. Government officials can buy lots of Ford Expeditions, BMWs, Mercedez Benzs, and cars for their bodyguards and convoys but can't spend for the education of the Filipino children? Well, I'm not generalizing and I know there are still good officials out there but sometimes even good officials get swallowed by the system because they have no choice.

Corruption and UNNECESSARY expenses accumulated by the government started all this, so why does the consumer have to pay for it? Why would the consumer pay for the mistakes of the government? Why would the consumer give back to the government when they don't get anything but pain and headaches in return? Why would the consumer pay for E-VAT when they know that one of the most corrupt nations of the world would most likely put the E-VAT in their deep pockets? The fiscal crisis is a result of corruption and I believe it will end with corruption. With that, I can truly say that the Philippines will be left in the dust with regards to economic growth if the government doesn't change.

There's a saying that The only thing certain in life is death and taxes, in the Philippines' case it's death, taxes, and corruption. Hey, President Arroyo! The Philippines will never grow into a f**king STRONG REPUBLIC if you guys don't mend your ways.

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