Pepeng Pummels Cagayan But The BIR Wants To Tax Donations! (3rd Update – 15 Dead)
Typhoon Pepeng has gone on to skirt Metro Manila.
But indications are Cagayan up North is bearing the brunt of nature fury.
he details are sketchy thus far but this writer feers a picture of horror could emerge.
Chaos was one adjective used in a news dispatch a couple of hours ago as the howling winds of up to 195 KPH and torrential rains were pummelling Cagayan and Baguio City being compared to killer typhoon Milenyo.
The first reports:
Trees were uprooted and power poles toppled in Tuguegarao and buildings had their roofs torn off.
Similar damage was reported in neighboring Isabela. One man was also reported to have drowned and another died from exposure in the province. Reuter news wires reports two other deaths from the region, and a ABS-CBN report cites 2 deaths in Camarines Sur, putting the death toll at 6 as of this morning, Oct. 4.
This Sunday afternoon th death toll from Pepeng is being counted at 15 in the latest Ageance France Pressse dispatch quoted by ABS-CBN while Reuters out the count at 17.
Pepeng is on its way out of Philippine territory, with center winds now of 120 KPH.
Earlier Friday the government declared a national calamity situation with concerns about profiteering being cited as among the main justifications.
Now is not the time to second guess Malacanang, mistrusted as it is.
But one weird report said the Bureau of Internal Revenues wants to tax incoming donations!!!
This BIR move directly runs counter to this:
The government has estimated that up to half a billion pesos worth of foreign aid has been pledged or are starting to come in.
So the move to tax the aid smacks of priority being given to profit for the national coffer at the expense of the suffering disaster victims???
Sure there are good PR images of the Malacanang grounds being opened to flood victims.
But the biggest mistakes Pres. Arroyo’s outgoing regime can make is to deepen public, and even international mistrust for its baser motivations.
Taxing donations certainly achieves that.