Duterte Supporters: Bayan o Sarili, Mamili ka?!?

Duterte’s minions decided to not heed the call of their idol, and to continue with their planned, million march on Luneta, last September 26, to convince the Pabebe Politician to run for president. According to professional estimates, around 50,000 attended at best. That’s the highest estimate I heard on the news. Which is obviously a far cry to the 1 million initially planned.

I’ll say it out right, I will not vote for Duterte, I do not want to vote for Duterte so much, that I’d much rather a thief become president than this Murderer.

Now, on to the disappointment that was the million march. Several of my Facebook friends claim that he is the only hope for the Philippines, and yet those same people, did not attend the rally. Why didn’t they attend? Probably because of a lot of reason, but all of their reason can probably be equated to the question presented above (the title). And sadly they chose themselves.

If they really believe that Duterte is the only hope of the country, shouldn’t that “idiotic belief” compel them to make sure that he wins, how can he win if he doesn’t run? Instead, they have just shown to all politicians how small their (the middle class) resolve is. Furthermore, this will just encourage the politicians to pander more to the poor and those you (middle class) claim as bobotantes. Not only did they just show that they couldn’t be bothered to make a stand for the good of our nation. They’ve also shown that their answer to the question “Country or self”, is self. Buencamino would have been proud.

On the other hand, the event (or the non-event) that was the million march, further supported my belief, that these Duterte supporters really do not care who will win. They just want to vote for the most unlikely to win the next election, so that they can continue on criticizing the Filipino’s choice by saying, “you didn’t vote for Duterte that’s why there’s no hope for this country”. The truth, I believe is, they are afraid that the one that they are supporting actually wins. Because if their candidate wins, they will have to admit after a couple of years, that they are dumb fucks.


The Popular Stand

It’s less than a year until the 2010 elections and the candidates are making their political stands. We’ll often hear how they’ll stand for the poor, the oppressed, the Filipino masses.

One of the promises that caught my attention is Senator Jamby Madrigal’s statement. At a forum for presidential aspirants hosted by the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines, Senator Jamby claims that “BPOs have made us a cheap country”.

According to ABS-CBN News, the senator has all but slammed globalization and related industries, including the much-touted business process outsourcing. She says these have not generated wealth for the country, but brought wealth to other nations.

I fear this statement, as I work for an outsourcing game development company. If she is against BPO, what is she going to do about it when she is in power? Increase the taxes? Push for a significant salary increase for their employees? Or abolish them entirely?

Call Centers, AFAIK, is classified as a BPO and ever since its inception, it has provided high paying jobs (higher than our teachers) to undergrads and high school grads. Of course, the salary is dwarfed by their US counterparts, but why would you compare? Isn’t that the main point of outsourcing?

I just hope that she’ll make it clear on what she plans to do about BPOs. And also what have she already done as a senator about the matter.

Another stand of hers is the sin taxes. A study commissioned by her office reveals only the poor are affected by such a measure.

“I am all for taxing the rich, but right now it is only the poor feeling the brunt of the increases,” she points out.

Products included in the sin tax law are cigarettes, alcohols, liquors, and spirits (whatever that is).

If increasing the taxes to these vices affects the poor, then I must say, I am all for it. Really, what good does purchasing any of these do to us, especially if you are tight on funds? I do drink alcohols but I am not about to spend my budget for food just for me to buy one.

Another presidentiable that has been making stands which would be popular to the masses is Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero. On the same source as above, Sen. Chiz said that if he wins, there would be no tax hike. Instead, he will focus on stopping corruption which eats an approximate Php 300 billion of our annual budget.

If he can do this, I’ll say that Chiz is the next best thing after Cory. Unfortunately, we would have to elect him first before we can see whether he can actually do it and I am not going to vote for him unless he can show a believable plan of action on how he’ll do it. And even then, I still might not as I am not a fan of people who believes that Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry is not an essential High School subject.

Bureau of Customs: The Bane of our Progress

I know that most of you has now heard of the “Book Blockade” where our dear Finance Undersecretary Espele Sales has realized that for a freaking half-a-century, everyone has misinterpreted the Florence Agreement and that she alone after all those time got it right. With her interpretation, only books “used in book publishing” were tax-exempt. They added that if we want a book to be tax-exempt, it should be in DECS list of educational books. If not, then too bad. So of course, more taxes means higher prices for imported books.

It is also common knowledge that if you want to buy cheap (like up to 50% cheaper) electronic products, you’d have to go to Singapore or Hong Kong. In fact, it is actually much cheaper to buy tickets to go to Singapore, buy a Laptop and Mobile phone, and go back here than buying the 2 devices of the same model here. If you ask the retailers about why the price is high, most of them blames one thing. High customs due.

Both cases shows that we have been purchasing imported goods at a higher price, compared to some of our fellow south-east Asian nation, because of our Bureau of Customs. Our government has been so proud of our growing IT industry and takes credit for it, but not only were they no help, they were even a hurdle. IT Books are already expensive, ranging from at least 400 pesos up to 2,000 pesos and that is before Sales’ interpretation of the Florence Agreement. Imagine how much it would cost if it wouldn’t make the DECS’ list of educational books.

The Bureau has 2 things for their defense. One is that the government needs the revenue. Two, they help promotes purchasing of locally made products. On the first reason, except for the rampant corruption in this administration, I have nothing against it. On the second reason, well, I have a few things to say. First of all, we don’t publish IT books, if we do, I have not seen one. We also do not make laptops and cellphones and other electronic gadgets. In my opinion, if we are importing items that has no locally made counterpart, then we should be thankful for getting them and not burden them with heavier taxes. Secondly, we are in the internet age, preventing us from getting imported books doesn’t result to us buying locally made books. We would buy the books that we want, whether it’s local or imported. And if we can’t get them from a bookstore then we’ll buy one online, or well, thepiratebay.org also helps should we get really desperate.

All in all, what this insane custom taxes accomplishes nothing but making it hard for Filipinos to progress in their technical knowledge.