No to Philippine Govt’s Proposal to Expand VAT Rat

eThe Philippine government has no moral authority
to collect taxes.


This government has no moral authority to collect
taxes because it has failed miserably in its most
basic of functions which is to deliver services to
the people.

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A government collects taxes from its people based on
the premise that it uses these funds to provide
services for the people. While this government is
bleeding the people dry by asking more taxes, it is at
the same time systematically cutting back on social
services and passing many of its obligations on to the
private sector. And the private sector willfully
obliges, taking government incapacity as an
opportunity to gain profits from the captive
consumers.


This government asks the people to shell out more
money. But for what? To cover up for its inefficiency
and fiscal mismanagement!
We challenge the Arroyo administration to perform its
functions and obligations to the people first before
asking them for additional taxes such as VAT. People
are ready to contribute more to the Treasury for as
long as they see every peso they pay in the form of
much-needed services. Contrary to the UP School of
Economics Econ 11 position that the proposed VAT rate
increase will stave off a crisis and contribute funds
for social development and infrastructure, our
coalition believes that this government will only use
the expected VAT yield to service the gargantuan
public debt and to maintain its good standing with
creditors.


The entire public sector debt must be thoroughly
examined in a debt audit. We urge the Senate to
approve immediately the Joint Resolution creating a
Congressional Commission on the Debt Audit that the
Lower House has already approved last September.


We also challenge the government to stop paying all
illegitimate debts, including the remaining $48
million balance for the overpriced and mothballed
Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. The coalition likewise
calls for the review of privatization programs for
services and utilities.


Corruption and ineptitude are virtually systemic in
the tax bureaucracy. These are the main reasons for
governments failure to generate the correct amount of
revenues. The people are put at the mercy of a flawed
and inefficient tax collection system.


I hope that the
government should contemplate in imposing new taxes, it
should first provide much needed services to the
people, audit all public sector debts, and score major
successes in its campaign against graft and
corruption.