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Onerous Tax On Text Revived!

October 6, 2009


This was a nagging suspicion your Midfielder had from the very day that congressmen proudly announced the withdrawal of the committee endorsement of the widely  denounced 5-centavo tax on text messages or SMS.

They simply wanted to take the heat off the controverversy and later on revive it in a more virulent form.

The activist group TEXTPOWER is laudably taking the lead in denouncing the latest devilish incarnation of the tax on text:

House surprises public with new text tax bill, worse than original proposal
By Anthony Ian Cruz
TXTPower President
Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means surreptitiously changed its text tax bill. If before, the proponents wanted P0.05 in additonal tax per text message, they now want ten percent of gross receipts of all messages we consumers buy.
In the middle of a state of calamity, some congressmen seem to have worked overtime to hammer out a new text tax bill to oppress the public, instead of providing relief to victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. It was also an outrage that the proponent and Chairman Exequiel Javier opportunistically and cavalierly used the calamity to justify the new tax.
To the House panel, we say: We say an unconditional no to any new tax in whatever form or shape. Your new bill is worse than the original one you wished to ram down our throats.
Sham public hearing
In today’s “public hearing”, only the proponents, other congressmen, representatives of the BIR, NTC and a telco were given a chance to speak. Consumer sentiments were neither sought nor heard although TXTPower and another group were there, waiting to be acknowledged.
To make matters worse for the public, Rep. Singson moved that an executive session be held, a motion that seeks to exclude everybody else, especially consumers, from taking part in the deliberations.
Chairman Javier should make this new text tax bill available to the public and have it posted on the House website and ensure truly democratic and participative proceedings in his committee.
Flood of lies
We are not stupid as to believe the fiction that is the alleged no-pass-on-provision which seems impossible to implement and said to be illegal under the law. Nor are we naïve as to fall for the claim that this new tax is good for consumers and the public and that the proponents only have the people, especially schoolchidren, in their mind.. Congressmen must stop this flood of lies.
We urge House members to join us and Deputy Speaker Raul del Mar and Reps. Monico Puentevella, Roilo Golez, Giorgidi Aggabao, Teddy Casino, Rufus Rodriguez, Raymond Palatino, Satur Ocampo, Neri Colmenares, Liza Maza, Luz Ilagan, Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod in questioning and opposing this new text tax bill.

Indeed the fight is not ovedr yet.

And push this fight we should until this oppressive tax on text is 6 feet under.



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