Filipinos have no choice but to pay more taxes

Something’s gotta give: Infrastructure paid for in dollars cannot be paid for by a nation of tax cheats.
(Photo source: InterAksyon)

You can’t have your cake and eat it. If Filipinos want more and better-quality public services, they’re gonna have to cough up the dough and pay more taxes. The reality is that most of the infrastructure required to deliver the services they demand involves foreign technology and imported goods — which is why they cost a lot (by Filipino standards). Take the plight of public transport in the Philippines which, increasingly, points to a need for modern rail services to replace decrepit jeepneys and buses and supplant the characteristically-Filipino unsystematic way these are deployed. But Filipinos cannot make trains. So they will have to import trains. They cannot lay tracks for the life of them. So they need to hire foreign engineers to oversee the work of laying rail. They cannot run tight systems that run on the ticks of clocks. So they require foreign consultants to fly in every now and then to give local managers the occasional kick in the rear end.

Everything is paid for in dollahs using taxes paid in puny pesos.

Love ya long time, right?

Unfortunately, no. Unlike the original industrial powers that make up today’s First World, Filipinos cannot indigenously accumulate the capital nor domestically develop and produce the equipment and facilities upon which to build their nation. Everything requires foreign capital, foreign assistance, and even foreign oversight. Filipinos are workers, not builders. They lack traditions of scientific achievement, engineering prowess, and operational excellence. This can be seen in how so much stuff sucks in the Philippines. Air travel sucks, road travel sucks, and railway would suck if any competent semblance of it even exists.

For that matter, the Philippines’ enormous population is sustained by foreign technology and capital. Modern foreign medical technology is at work in even the creakiest public clinic to keep Filipinos living long enough to, at least, reach reproductive age. Agriculture is sustained by foreign-developed artificial fertilisers, hybrid seeds, and industrial farming and animal raising technology and systems. And, even then, domestic production needs to be supplemented by massive imports to fill demand.

The Philippines, in short, pretty much survives on life support on a dripfeed of foreign everything. Like a disabled person that requires 24-hour care, the Philippines cannot stand on its own feet using its own muscular and skeletal structure, cannot draw air into its lungs using its own diaphragm muscles, and cannot gather its own food nor chew and swallow nutrients on its own without mechanical aid. The Philippines is like an invertebrate held up by an artificial exoskeleton. It is reliant on external rather than internal resources.

Indeed, even political chatter is being imported thanks to an entire generation of butthurt Opposition “thought leaders” begging validation from the foreign media to prop up their sagging relevance.

Unless Filipinos learn how to fund their lifestyles with domestic capital and production, be self-sufficient, and stand on their own two feet, they will need to keep selling their internal organs to fund the 24-hour care they are getting from the outside. They will need to build and run their own trains, arm their own soldiers, feed their own people, think for themselves, and uphold a clear and stable sense of identity. It sounds simple for healthy mature adults of sound mind, but not for toddlers, adolescents, and adult emotional basketcases.

It’s high time Filipinos end a cultural tradition of dependence and embrace true independence — a national ethic yet to be seen even after more than half a century of “independence” granted by the United States in 1946. Until then, everything Filipinos need and want will be paid for in dollars using money earned in pesos. And that is why Filipinos need to pay more taxes.

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7 Comments on “Filipinos have no choice but to pay more taxes”

  1. I could not have said it any better.

    Filipinos are inferior when it comes to culture and way of thinking when compared to Japanese, Singaporeans and Koreans.

    But the government must find alternatives from just increasing tax burdens of all working Filipinos. Yes, the funds are needed to improve all infrastructure. But to do it at the expense of the economy is suicidal.

    1. The only way to increase internal revenue is to increase the dollar value of domestic economic product and increase taxation as a proportion of the value of that output. Indeed, there is a limit to increasing tax rates without impoverishing further those subject to tax. But there is, in principle, no limit to growth in economic output. The latter requires an increase in labour and business productivity (i.e. more output and more value per unit input).

      In short, the only way out of this mess is to make more money on the back of one’s own internal capability.

  2. Filipinos hate paying taxes because they know full well their taxes will be wasted or stolen. The government actually collects a very respectable amount of tax, but almost all of it is misused. A related problem is that the tax system itself is antiquated, illogical, and burdensome: complying with the silly rules, filling in endless forms, and queuing up at government offices is virtually a full-time job. Billions of pesos annually are wasted on pointless procedures.

    In any case, even if that money were being spent wisely, you can’t get blood from a stone. The effective tax rate in the Philippines is already one of the highest in Asia. Increasing taxes for those few people who actually pay is simply going to discourage people from starting businesses.

  3. The exchange rate of Philippine pesos to U.S. dollars is 45 pesos to one U.S. dollar. Think of that in terms of millions of dollars. It is really expensive to rely on imported goods.

    Most of our engineers, technical people, scientists are now OFWs. They don’t want to stay, because they cannot be paid enough to survive with is pay. Foreign countries welcome them, for their brains and talents. They produce the goods, for these foreign companies. We import the goods. This is really a vicious cycle. The Filipino dependence on foreign goods and technology.

    We can produce them on our own; but , it will take years to train these technically talented people. It will take also a lot of time and money to lure them back, to come home. If they will ever be lured to come back home.

    On the other side, we have an oversupply of politicians; of diploma mill college graduates, who have no jobs. Most of them will again become OFWs. The Philippines is being drained of manpower , scientists, technical men and engineers.

    This is not a good situation of the country. We need these people, if ever we intend to become self sufficient in technical know how, and produce our own goods and infrastructures.

  4. how many billions of pesos stolen by the yellow dynasty? those are the money the pilipinos must filled up again to rise up.

  5. When a man pays a tax, he knows that the public necessity requires it, and therefore feels a pride in discharging his duty; but a fine seems an atonement for neglect of duty, and of consequence is paid with discredit, and frequently levied with severity.

  6. What if we provide a solution…..or suggested solutions… instead of highlighting the problem
    1) I have decided to relocate myself and my family after decades in Europe…why? Coz it is payback time…
    2) I have joined several education groups to open up my knowledge
    3) I have joined a multinational company in BGC as they just launch their operations worldwide here in MNL….I wonder wh? Salary? Skills? Talent? or both?.. .My two cents is I will observe and train those pool of talented people to have another perspective, hoping some of them might have the common sense to foresee indeed another perspective..
    4) I prefer to seek for the solutions and actions,,,it will take time… but hey I don’t plan to change the world…only to share my experience and inspire others
    5) Why?? because I have done it…and I know it can be done

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