Tax Terror

Three nights ago, my flatmates were discussing how difficult times are getting. One was complaining that while she was living independently and earning her own keep, she would sometimes borrow money from her mother just to survive. I myself experience living from one pay check to the next. A lot of times, when I feel the urge for a little luxury, I would mentally charge the cost to my next pay, spending some from what little I save. I could only imagine the woes of those who have the burden of earning for their families towards new tax measures proposed by some, whom Sen. Joker Arroyo aptly named as “tax terrorists.”

Franchise tax for telecoms, P2 per liter oil excise tax, sin taxes (the latter one I approve of), these are just some proposals to remedy our growing budget deficit. I could imagine my brother saying, “Anlaki-laki ng tax na binabayaran mo, saan naman napupunta?!” As if the unequal distribution of wealth in the country isn’t worse enough. What’s next? Television watching tax? Continue reading “Tax Terror”

The Problem with Numbers

As the proposed 2-child policy heats up debates in the House of Representatives, health centers, which provide free training for family planning, are now threatened to lose their free and low-priced contraceptives. These contraceptives are being donated by international groups who out of their good will and advocacy provide us with free condoms. But without the government’s clear support on the family planning program, couples without means may have to content themselves with the calendar method or the more popular yet incorrect “withdrawal method.”

The National Statistics Office (NSO) projects our population to 82.7M this year. Filipinos are being sexually active at a younger age but the government seems to be blinded by the fact, tied down by the conservative faction more popularly known as the Catholic Church and several ignoramuses who still believe that sex is done only within the constraints of marriage. Continue reading “The Problem with Numbers”

Film as Art

For movie afficionados like me, the annual Cinemanila film festival is a haven. This year, the annual festival will run from July 1-12 at the Greenbelt Cinemas in Makati.

One of the featured films this year is Ramona Diaz’s controversial documentary “Imelda,” which as the synopsis describes “dramatically highlights how Marcos transformed herself from a Third World beauty queen into an international political force.” I’ve seen a part of that documentary where the former first lady was being asked about her love for beauty. Hair on my arms stood when she said that if someone was to kill her, she’d opt for a bolo tied with a ribbon on it.

Another Filipino masterpiece worth seeing is Mario O’ Hara’s “Babae sa Breakwater,” a film about a small community of indigents living beside the breakwater of Manila Bay. This film failed to make noise when first shown publicly but has surprisingly earned critical success from Cannes. Continue reading “Film as Art”

What the GIL?

Eddie Gil, the annoying would-be presidentiable is not just boasting of his trillions of money today. Aside from an album, a cameo role in the movie Volta and tv guestings, he’s now making movies—and perhaps more money than he claims to have. He may as well pay our debts, which by the way stands at P3.35-trillion, according to the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) .

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One tv report caught my attention today amidst the brouhaha on the yes proc or no proc scenario. A Singaporean national was robbed of his cellphone and wallet in Malate. What’s the big deal you ask? Well instead of kicking the thief’s ass and filing a complaint, the Singaporean refused to file charges and even gave his cellphone to his assailant as a gift. Now that’s getting what you don’t deserve.