Truth to tell, the detestable “Indirect Taxation” imposed on consumer goods is not only in fact inequitable but also in effect unconscionable. There is ample reason to think that those who thought of this cruel design, proposed and approved its highly questionable legislation, belonged to the elite, the rich and famous. They must have immense resources and fat bank accounts. Hence, while duly preoccupied by direct taxation on their immense assets in cash and kind, its odious complementary part in terms of indirect taxation was however a non-issue to them. They were definitely not those who counted every peso in their pocket and who even did not know to get their next peso.
But the poor and destitute, the beggars and tramps, yes, they too pay indirect taxes on the goods they consume day after day – in the amount just like those in tenure of power and in possession of wealth. Yes, even but new born babies start paying indirect taxes the moment they are born. Their parents, those living in flush subdivisions as well as those living in squatter areas, all pay for them exactly the same amount of indirect taxes imposed on such items as cotton and alcohol, powder and milk.
Yes, indirect taxation strictly and intimately accompanies all Filipinos from birth to death. It is inescapable just like radioactive particles when released in the environment. The truth of the matter is that in sickness and in health, indirect taxes seek and follow all men, women and children to their burial. It is interesting to how much goes to the government by way of indirect taxation, in the embalming of the dead, up to the purchase of coffins and urn in the event of cremation.
To say that this is a cruel world would not be that accurate. But to say that the Philippines is a cruel country has much truth in it. For the moment, it is enough to think of how much Filipinos regularly and infallibly pay their government in form indirect taxes. Then, come to think of how much thereof goes to graft and corrupt practices as a matter of fact – without mentioning the delirious “pork barrel” that goes to the legislators themselves who to date dare not question the downright injustice of indirect taxation imposed upon each and every Filipino from their crib to their tomb.
No. This is not about taxes per se. taxation is a mandate of social justice whereby the citizens have to pay for the common good and public welfare – hopefully - - provided them by their government. What is lamented here is concretely the iniquity of the law of “Indirect Taxation” that is continuously and equally paid upon purchase of consumer in poverty, the children and the powerless, the wealthy and those wallowing in poverty, the children and the adults alike. It is anything but fair and proper according to the ethical principles of equity.
23 MARCH 2011