Friday, February 19, 2010


(Postdated to 15 February. As of 16 February, the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act is now a Law.)

This Valentine’s Day, some hearts got broken.

The de facto President has been sitting on the Expanded Senior Citizen Act, dilly-dallying on signing it into law. The reason that Gary Olivar presents has ranged from the usual “The ‘President’ is busy” to claims that it might not be a good idea at all. This after some statements that it is a very good idea to let the elderly enjoy the full benefits of their 20% discount.

The latter is more believeable if we are to consider the “President’s” penchant for saying one thing then doing another.

I am inclined to think that this pussyfooting of the “President” stems from lost revenues, which ultimately translates to lost kickbacks.

Last month, both Houses of Congress has given their go signal on the reconciled version of this Act. If Signed into law, this would mean a full 20% discount to ‘purchases of medicines and essential medical supplies, accessories and equipment,; fees of attending physicians; and medical, dental fees and diagnostic and laboratory fees.’

But last week, the Department of Finance, sent a memorandum to the “President” over its concern that this discounts would mean a P 1.68 Billion loss in revenues.
A loss in revenues of that amount is really something, considering the amount of our budget deficit and debt servicing obligations.

However, if we think about the corruption-ridden system that the Arroyo Regime has cultivated so, we can just roll our eyes or wave our fists in disbelief and rage over that flimsy excuse the DoF and the President’s Deputy Spokesperson who is IN FACT a US Citizen, Gary Olivar is trying to sell us.

According to Ibon Foundation, the government has a national debt, both to local and foreign creditors, of “P 4.92 trillion - almost 85.7% higher than what it was when President Gloria Arroyo first assumed office in January 2001.” The approved budget for 2010 is pegged at P 1.54 trillion, with a budget deficit of ≈ P300 billion.
Wow! That seems a lot of money! That’s a huge deficit, almost a third of the budget. And where are we supposed to get all this? From the us taxpayers of course!

It honestly wouldn’t be so hard to pay taxes and fork over a portion of our hard-earned money if we know that we will be enjoying these taxes in the long run. Bigger taxes should mean better services for the public. Better service for the public mean better lives and standards of living. Better lives and standards of living mean a higher productivity rate. A higher productivity rate ultimately means a better nation.

However, we know corruption has already trickled down to the lowest echelons of state power. Which is sad. But come to think of it, it is only a reflection of a bigger and more blatant corruption in the upper chambers. Which is sick. Sick,sick, sick!

According to one editorial,(sorry I forgot what newspaper)for every P 1 in the state coffers, 73 centavos goes to debt servicing, leaving only 27 centavos for public services. However, under the corruption-ridden Arroyo administration, 60% of the 27 centavos left or 16.2 centavos, goes into privates pockets. This means that out of P 1, after debt servicing and kickback “allotments” only 10.8 centavos goes back to the people.
So when the Department of Finance, Gary Olivar and the “President” claim that the implementation of the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act is a huge loss to the money-making ability of the government, let’s make them cough up that 16. 2 centavos per P1 tax that they channeled into the gorge in their pockets.

Alas, that is ‘where our taxes go.’

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