Do numbers hurt? Yes, in so many ways, the worst being inflation numbers rising to levels that wipe out the middle class and the poor pushed to missing more meals.
General inflation of about nine percent means food inflation hitting the 12 percent levels, food being the higher factor in the rise or fall of inflation numbers.
Today, the common horror complaints heard in market places and groceries is the P500 getting only about half of what it used to buy months back.
Promises of priority attention to food production in agriculture just remain as promises. Lip service by a President whom the bureaucracy does not follow.
Our farming sector is, like a sick man about to die, in the ICU but doctors seem not to notice.
Filipinos are over-taxed by a government that under-performs.
One junior executive of a foreign company says, his taxes run to about a million a year. These are taxes automatically deducted from his pay envelope.
He complains, “I feel being robbed for I do not feel any return in terms of better governance.”
My kapitbahay explains, socialized taxation is the policy imposed by the government, meaning the higher the income, the higher the percentage rate in income taxation. “To our leaders, this is fair. An attempt to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor or the rich subsidizing the poor,” he points out.
The government takes more money from business transactions. Every sale, transfer of good from one hand to another is imposed a value added tax or VAT. This VAT does not follow the socialized scheme in taxation.
VAT kills the poor. They suffer most from high cost of food and other basic needs.
To bring down cost of food, the government encouraged importation, buying farm produce of other countries.
Our farm products are more expensive than those produced by Vietnam, Thailand and China to name a few food-exporting countries.
Why our farm products cost more is a big mystery that our leaders have failed to address. This is a mystery that common sense can easily solve. But only the stupid have lost their common sense and there are many of them in our bureaucracy.
My kapitbahay, though, disagrees. We have brilliant people in our government system. “Their brains, however, are not in the proper place. Their brains are in their pockets.”
They are not stupid. They are geniuses in making money for themselves.
My kapitbahay cites a case of a budget officer of an LGU in Metro Manila who drives fancy cars from mini cooper to the most expensive European sports cars. Buys town houses like going shopping at Robinsons.
And this guy is only a budget officer.
Update, in San Pedro, I was told the LGU will be following the orders from the DILG and COMELEC to recognize the 11th and 12th winner to the city council in the last elections.
A good governance advocate was about ready to file an Ombudsman case against the local leadership, complete with all documents, supporting his assertion that the LGU leadership has violated its mission to serve the best interest of the voters of San Pedro City.
OpinYon carried his story in our last issue, calling the act of not recognizing the COMELEC decision on the case as stupid.
Well, all is well that ends well. It’s still a beautiful day in the Philippines.