Even before birth, every Filipino already pays taxes. The foods, vitamins and other pre-natal means taken by the mother to ensure the health of her baby are all taxed.
At the birth of the baby, the alcohol and cotton, the powder and soap, the milk and diapers, these and other needs are likewise all taxed.
As the baby becomes a child, a teenager and a young adult, taxes are a constant and continuous accompaniment. Clothes, shoes and foods, water, electricity and gas, books, papers and pencils, rides, drinks and snacks, these and many other consumptions are further all taxed.
And when the Filipino is finally laid to rest after taking taxed medicines, the coffin is taxed, the candles are taxed, the burial ground is taxed.
In every civil and political community, the payment of taxes is for public spending. Public spending is for the common good. This standard taxation practice however is ruled by three fundamental socio-moral principles.
One: The solidarity of the citizens is the premise of the payment of taxes. This basic norm is violated when those who should pay direct taxes precisely avoid doing so. Meantime, all others, the poor in particular, cannot escape paying any and all indirect taxes.
Two: The administration and disbursement of taxes are founded on integrity and accountability. This primordial precept is broken in a special way by corruption in the handling of public funds.
Three: The administration and disbursement of taxes are founded on integrity and accountability. This primordial precept is broken in a special way by corruption in the handling of public funds.
It is the summit of gullibility to claim that the government has been compliant with any of the said principles of taxation. In effect, it is easier to assert that it has failed in all the three key socio-moral criteria for public taxation.
To add more fire to the already much heated public anger and complaint, there is the pending E-VAT which simply reads more taxes—with the poor again being readied to bear the added burden.
17 August 2005