Monday, 23 May 2011 12:55
No other group in Philippine Society has the moral force and inherent right to demand for the investigation into how the annual budget is being disbursed by our public officials, except the honest-to-goodness taxpayers. The taxpayers are collectively the real BIG BOSS of the officials and employees of the government including the President.
As I strongly asserted, the government cannot function without taxes. Undeniably, the taxpayers are the real employers of all public servants of this republic. But wonder of all wonders, the taxpayers are never properly recognized and appreciated for the indispensable role they play as the lifeblood of the government. But if any one tries to evade or is late in paying his tax, he is immediately condemned, badly publicized and punished either by the imposition of surcharges or even imprisonment. What a huge misfortune it is to be a taxpayer in this country. Could you imagine a scenario when all the taxpayers would prefer to go to jail than pay their taxes?
One thing utterly revolting and starkly depressing is the fact that while the taxpayers are the ones providing for all the government needs in order to survive, they are not even represented as a sector in Congress or in the different local government units’ legislative bodies. Even in the Board of Regents/Trustees/Directors/ or Governors of Government Owned and Controlled Corporations and Institutions, the taxpayers are not distinctly represented. It is very likely that those who are elected or appointed members of the various levels of legislatures and governing boards of public agencies are not even honest-to-goodness taxpayers. Yet, they are there, enjoying all the benefits provided for by the taxpayers. Try to conduct a surprise study right now and you’ll be shocked by your findings.
Every tea bag or coffee sachet in public office is provided for by the taxpayers. Therefore, the time of reckoning has come. The taxpayers must demand that every centavo appropriated for the operation of government must be accounted for by an independent auditing and accounting firm. The cloak of parliamentary immunity and confidentiality should be broken and thrown to the garbage bin because the very source of life of the political system has ordered so. There is no authority higher than its source. The taxpayers must assert its fiscal sovereignty to clean up the entire public bureaucracy of all kinds and forms of fiscal anomalies.
The best way to prevent graft and corruption in government is not to pay taxes. No taxes, no pork barrel to construct substandard public works and buy overpriced equipment and supplies. No taxes, no money to print tarpaulin promo materials, billboards and streamers. No taxes, no funds for Intelligence Fund which the taxpayers are not allowed to inquire how it is being disbursed. No taxes, no travel to foreign countries with extravagant allowances for shopping, side trips, and other collateral pleasure activities.
By Clem M. Bascar
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