eThe Philippine government has no moral authority to collect taxes.
This government has no moral authority to collecttaxes because it has failed miserably in its mostbasic of functions which is to deliver services tothe people.
A government collects taxes from its people based onthe premise that it uses these funds to provideservices for the people. While this government isbleeding the people dry by asking more taxes, it is atthe same time systematically cutting back on socialservices and passing many of its obligations on to theprivate sector. And the private sector willfullyobliges, taking government incapacity as anopportunity to gain profits from the captiveconsumers.
This government asks the people to shell out moremoney. But for what? To cover up for its inefficiencyand fiscal mismanagement!We challenge the Arroyo administration to perform itsfunctions and obligations to the people first beforeasking them for additional taxes such as VAT. Peopleare ready to contribute more to the Treasury for aslong as they see every peso they pay in the form ofmuch-needed services. Contrary to the UP School ofEconomics Econ 11 position that the proposed VAT rateincrease will stave off a crisis and contribute fundsfor social development and infrastructure, ourcoalition believes that this government will only usethe expected VAT yield to service the gargantuanpublic debt and to maintain its good standing withcreditors.
The entire public sector debt must be thoroughlyexamined in a debt audit. We urge the Senate toapprove immediately the Joint Resolution creating aCongressional Commission on the Debt Audit that theLower House has already approved last September.
We also challenge the government to stop paying allillegitimate debts, including the remaining $48million balance for the overpriced and mothballedBataan Nuclear Power Plant. The coalition likewisecalls for the review of privatization programs forservices and utilities.
Corruption and ineptitude are virtually systemic inthe tax bureaucracy. These are the main reasons forgovernments failure to generate the correct amount ofrevenues. The people are put at the mercy of a flawedand inefficient tax collection system.
I hope that thegovernment should contemplate in imposing new taxes, itshould first provide much needed services to thepeople, audit all public sector debts, and score majorsuccesses in its campaign against graft andcorruption.