“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” Thomas Jefferson
“Government is the only parasite stupid enough to kill its host.” Universal Truth
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“NO!!!” to Manila City Hall’s Oppression and Enslavement!
“NO!!!” to the Increase in Property Taxes and Business Permit Fees!
The following is a narrative of a property owner in the City of Manila based on actual events.
When my sisters and I took over the management of certain properties of our mother (who had passed away), we decided to overhaul the tenant base of a particular property in the City of Manila (the “Property”) for a number of reasons, not the least of which was to end the dubious operations of several billiard halls and, thereafter, to lease-out those same premises to a useful and wholesome enterprise that would better serve the community.
It is worth mentioning that my sisters and I were all trained to be professionals and, in fact, have all achieved a certain degree of success in our respective fields in the context of multinational organizations. Hence, in the course of our careers, we ourselves rarely interacted with what we later would characterize as the bureaucratic cesspool of the Local Government Unit or LGU; in particular, Manila City Hall. However, as a small family business, we have no staff to deal with the bureaucracy other than ourselves. And what a horrible experience that has been.
In spite of our good faith efforts as lessor to provide ample time for our tenants to transfer their operations to another location at the end of their respective leases, one tenant (a proprietor of billiard halls) attempted to extort money from us, the lessor, as a condition for leaving the premises, even though his lease had already expired. At this time and quite fortuitously, Tulfo of Bitag, along with certain personnel at City Hall, raided the billiard halls in the Property and found underage university students being served and consuming alcoholic beverages. Naturally, City Hall “closed down” the billiard halls in front of Tulfo’s camera.
After a few days, it was business as usual. We knew then that there were people in City Hall on the payroll of this tenant. In fact, we were naive to think that this was not the case in the first place. We found out that a few years earlier, Tulfo had raided the same billiard halls in the Property, which resumed operations a few days later like nothing happened. We also discovered that this tenant had been operating without a business permit. When my sister disclosed this to the head of the business permits department in City Hall, he did not refute the disclosure and asked instead if this tenant had any hope of remaining our tenant at the Property. He and his staff sat on our request to close down this tenant, who (a) had no business permit, (b) had an expired lease and (c) continued to serve alcoholic beverages to minors.
We had no other choice but to seek the help of then Mayor Alfredo Lim and his trusted associate, Atty. Garayblas. Shortly after the billiard halls were closed down permanently by order of Mayor Lim, the proprietor of the billiard halls went to the head of the business permits department of City Hall and verbally abused him—as deserved by a corrupt City Hall official on-the-take.
We proceeded to lease the premises of the billiard halls to a reputable grocery chain, which swiftly renovated their space and commenced their operations in record time, in spite of all of the attempts of various departments in City Hall to extort from the new tenant. Failure to secure a permit for the collection of construction debris, failure to secure a permit for renovation, failure to secure a zoning permit, failure to secure an occupancy permit and so forth and so on. In reality, all these rules were being “enforced” not for the sake of proper enforcement and compliance but for the purpose of extortion. In most cases, these permits were “in-process” and deliberately being withheld by the department attempting to squeeze a bribe from the new tenant.
One particular department “tabled” a senior manager of the new tenant and said, “You need to pay us P200,000 to secure a zoning permit. That’s how it works around here.” The new tenant practically pleaded to reduce the bribe to P100,000 but the City Hall official refused to budge. The senior manager sought our assistance and we raised the issue to Atty. Garayblas. For fear of reprisal from the City Hall rats, the senior manager refused to disclose to Atty. Garayblas that he was cornered for a bribe. That said, the new tenant immediately secured their zoning permit for P17,000–receipted. When asked by Atty. Garayblas, the extortionist, who appeared to be just a few years out of college (yes, they start them young in City Hall) denied that he demanded a bribe from the new tenant. He later “explained” in private (in the absence of Atty. Garayblas) that the P200,000 was for a “traffic study”–which was clearly unnecessary and only an excuse for extortion.
A reputable grocery chain that was going to fulfil a need in the community and revitalize a portion of a major thoroughfare in the City of Manila was being treated like a common criminal establishment (e.g., brothel, beer house, gambling den, etc.) that has to bribe the minions of City Hall to exist and operate. No wonder the City of Manila has failed to revitalize its core with world-class establishments and continues to be dominated by decrepit and crumbling post-war structures.
Unfortunately, the foregoing experience, as recounted by a property owner in the City of Manila, is typical of the experience of multitudes of small to medium-sized property owners and business enterprises in the City of Manila struggling to make a decent and respectable living but, over the years, have been incessantly bullied, harassed and enslaved by a bloated, incompetent and corrupt bureaucratic kleptocracy known as Manila City Hall. (It’s an entirely different playing field for big businesses that discreetly contribute millions to the political leadership of City Hall in exchange for the red carpet treatment—a higher realm of government corruption conveniently ignored by our self-serving legislators.)
This is the same City Hall that charges P350 for a permit to install a standard Meralco meter for a small commercial establishment plus P3,500 for a fixer who will “ensure” that the same permit is issued expeditiously. This is the same City Hall whose fire department will harass a property owner with a slew of fire code violations if the property owner does not purchase fire equipment from “recommended” suppliers at twice the market price. This is the same City Hall that will install closed-circuit television or CCTV security systems at four times (4x) the actual cost of the system to line their dirty pockets. This is the same City Hall that demands a minimum twenty-percent (20%) kickback for virtually every major contract it bids and awards to a private supplier/contractor. This is the same City Hall that breeds a Barangay Captain who insists on extorting P5,000 per delivery of materials to a construction site (and who is regularly brought to junkets like the recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—all expenses paid, care of the taxpayers). This is the same City Hall that panders to and subsidizes the ever-increasing percentage of squatters in the City of Manila at the expense of the much fewer and ever-decreasing percentage of tax-payers—a fiscal death-spiral that has, in the words of Mayor Erap himself, bankrupted the City of Manila.
The fact is, every property owner and business enterprise (those who pay taxes and business permit fees) in the City of Manila has to seek the assistance of the Mayor and/or his few trusted associates for a chance (if you are lucky) to be treated fairly (as we should be, even though many have already been beaten to submission by the Mafia-like City Hall). The rest of City Hall has evolved into a parasitic and rapacious criminal syndicate that draws its salaries and benefits from taxpayers and then sucks more blood from the same like an army of monstrous and insatiable leeches. Yet, in spite of this incongruous and convoluted set-up today, Manila City Hall has the gall and temerity to increase property taxes by as much as three-hundred and fifty percent (350%) as well as to increase business permit fees (exceeding the business permit fees charged by other cities in Metro Manila), which will only serve to perpetuate and reinforce the deeply entrenched corruption in City Hall and, in fact, destroy its lifeblood of property owners and business enterprises.
Lest Manila City Hall forget, they owe their livelihood to the property owners and the business enterprises. It is time we fight back. Bring City Hall to its knees, cut it down to its bare essentials and then, maybe, it can begin to manage its gargantuan debt and start servicing its taxpayers properly.
“NO!!!” to Manila City Hall’s Oppression and Enslavement!
“NO!!!” to the Increase in Property Taxes and Business Permit Fees!
Let us precisely bankrupt the City of Manila to force City Hall to restructure, to streamline and to rehabilitate itself from its unsustainable addiction to debt. Bankruptcy means Manila City Hall will have to live within the economic dictates of the taxpayers. Bankruptcy will compel City Hall to focus on reducing the demand side of government versus increasing the supply side of government (i.e., increasing taxes and business permit fees). For starters, no more borrowing, no more fixers, no more contractuals and reduce City Hall’s headcount by fifty percent (50%)—less heads means less criminals and, yes, less electricity bills to pay. Retire City Hall employees without separation pay, particularly if the City of Manila is bankrupt. These bastards should not be given a centavo of separation pay for all these years of wholesale corruption. No more subsidies to squatters other than a bus ticket to their home province, so they can return home, till some land and be truly productive (other than making more malnourished babies like goats and rabbits). Streamline the administrative and procurement processes and impose/enforce punitive measures against erring officials—zero tolerance on corruption. Restructure the legitimate debt of the City of Manila, negotiate more favourable terms, including substantial “haircuts” and refrain from paying those government banks supporting City Hall’s debt addiction—it’s time to sever these unholy alliances. Reduce or eliminate the fire department and provide incentives to develop a private volunteer fire brigade in each barangay. No more junkets. These are but a few of the appropriate, innovative and necessary initiatives we can compel Manila City Hall to pursue if we fight back and say . . .
“NO!!!” to Manila City Hall’s Oppression and Enslavement!
“NO!!!” to the Increase in Property Taxes and Business Permit Fees!
28 Replies to “The Parasites of the City of Manila”
Hahahaha! kilala ko yun BP head! hehehe no comment! buti na lang napalitan na siya…
Anyway, its been decades since the city of manila increase its taxes and fees,its about time for a new revenue code..
In fairness to the City Government of Manila, they have no control over:
Fire department= DILG
Barangay Officials= DILG, Ombudsman
Killem, I encourage you to read the petition of Apolonia Pena at change.org. To wit:
Manila City property owners are still reeling from the DOUBLING of realty taxes last 2005. In spite of our initial protests after realty taxes were doubled in 2005, nothing was ever done.
Property values in many parts of Manila have not increased because of the following issues which City Hall has not addressed:
• Poor sanitation/garbage collection;
• Poor sewerage systems;
• Properties occupied by informal settlers;
• Acts of extortion by fixers in City Hall.
Therefore, Manila cannot compare itself with more progressive cities like Makati and Taguig, where property prices have moved up tremendously because of better cleanliness and more business-friendly conditions. Note that these cities have NOT indicated any intention to raise their realty taxes. If they can keep their cities clean and business-friendly without raising realty taxes, why can’t Manila?
The consumer spending capacity of most people in Manila remains limited. This is why more progressive businesses transfer to other cities to generate higher income and to generate higher margins for themselves. If the City of Manila raises realty taxes, it will force many businesses to close shop or to transfer elsewhere. This in turn will mean even lower tax collections for the City, and less funding for much needed services.
To address your deficit issues, please do the following first:
1. Act like a world-class professional organization and only spend what you collect. Suspend major projects until funding has been collected (not borrowed).
2. Aggressively cut costs by terminating non-performers within your organization, and those who have a record of corruption and extortion.
3. Set performance goals for ALL City Hall employees. Those who consistently do not meet their goals over a maximum of 2 years should be terminated.
4. Do a tax mapping and go after non-tax paying individuals and corporations. Auction off properties of delinquent taxpayers.
5. Be absolutely transparent about your expenditures. Post these on your website against your annual budget. Publicize the findings of the Commission on Audit. Immediately suspend those who have been found to engage in anomalous transactions or non-justifiable or bloated expenses.
6. Re-settle informal settlers to government-owned lands in the provinces.
We challenge you to dispel the reputation of corruption Manila City Hall has gained.
Buhayin ang Maynila, nguni’t hindi sa pag-iipit at pagsasakal ng mga tapat na tao at negosyanteng nagbabayad ng kanilang mga buwis.
Maraming salamat po!
I am a Canadian, but it sounds like you need to get involved and get elected or work in the bureaucracy to help “fix” the problem.
Brock, thank you for your vote of confidence. The old cliche remains ever so current today. Corruption in Philippine government is so deeply entrenched and so pervasive that one can’t help but smell its rotten stench from the air we breath (quite literally from the awful air pollution in the greater Metro Manila area). It’s safe to say that I represent the Filipino middle-class professional intelligentsia, just like (believe it or not) most of the contributors and commentators on this site. I also fought a good fight against government corruption within my sphere of influence while I was with the private sector (now retired). However, the Filipino middle-class is virtually disenfranchised in our perverted democracy, which is why we occasionally sound like ranting lunatics–borne out of an intense and profound frustration of a failed state. My participation or the participation of any number of exceptional do-gooders in the Philippine government will only be countered by a bureaucratic tidal wave of mediocrity, corruption and sleaze that I (and I daresay many of my associates here) find it far more appealing to blow these scumbags into smithereens instead of working by their side–much like attempting to hand-hold a herd of pompous brats along the path of righteousness.
The Manila parasites will always be there, no matter who the government officials are.
The only good I saw through Erap’s reign is that he removed the buses that clog Metro Manila.
Other than that, the city’s the same…no sign of progress whatsoever.
Unang-una, dapat yung municipal hall, salamin ang lahat ng dingding, para kita lahat ang ginagawa sa loob. Parang sa marikina city, yung government offices, see through yung walls, kasi transparent glass ang materyal.
“Government is the only parasite stupid enough to kill its host.” Universal Truth.
However, there’s no such thing as real “Universal Truth” to the parasites politicians, government officials and employees of the government.
As can be considered a national truth most of the Philippine politicians, government officials and employees are possessed by the demon spirits which belong to the lowest hierarchy of Satan’s organizational chart.
They never do the job they are paid for by the people to do and most comfortable in justifying their lies, incompetence and extortion activities.
Based on the story of the sisters perhaps it would be more fitting that Filipinos develop the culture of a vigilante.
Considering that perhaps since the Filipinos took over governing the country brazenness of those in the government just accelerated much faster to being worse than becoming better.
As narrated by the story in this article of the entrepreneur being extorted of PHP200,00 for a permit, would it be more feasible to just pay a “riding in tandem” for say PHP10,000? At least the government’s surplus of plagues can be reduced consistently if Filipinos would develop this business strategy?
WAKE UP FILIPINOS!!!!
There’s is no more hope that the culture of wiliness, arrogant lies and shameless corruptions in the Philippine government can be changed for the better through more civilized and diplomatic way. Those in the government would just exploit it further as purely WEAK and FUTILE.
Actually as observed on the ground even private business peoples are already replicating the government’s system of corruption, lies and extortion.
Therefore would there be security and freedom from fear and want in the horizon? Perhaps this basis for hope is just like pissing against the wind.
Not to forget the hundreds, if not thousands, of ‘ghost employees’. Money for nothing – literally.
The scale of theft and corruption in manila, and elsewhere, is staggering, and from comments i hear is simply getting worse as these city hall criminals become more brazen, more greedy, more cunning, and clearly secure in the knowledge that they will not get caught, and even if they are, nothing will happen. A friendly judge, a TRO, case filed in ‘forgetten’ tray.
All the talk of reform and change at national and local level is just that, with only a few token/trophy cases/individuals pursued to maintain the pretence of action, but never allies or the ‘big fish’.
In fact the damocles sword of exposure has resulted in higher payments/bribes by businessmen, in order to continue operating, even legal businesses!
And with payoffs in the range of 500,000 pesos plus a month for officials, with the big players/protectors getting multi million payoffs per month then no-one who could change it wants to change it.
No wonder the city hall car parks are stuffed full of new and high end cars and look more like luxury car showrooms. That alone speaks volumes.
I have seen it in each city i have lived – makati, baguio, cebu, and davao.
No doubt the city mayors meetings they hold, trade ‘best practices’ – at scams – since the same modus operandi crop up in each city.
And as they feast upon a smogasbord of money making opportunities, ranging from business permits, pyramid selling, the taxi scam, and free condos in exchange for building permits et al, all designed to extract the most money in the minimum time period they then rapidly repatriate the dirty money abroad in an increasingly complex web of accounts/dummy companies/property purchases etc. Hello AMLC!!!, who no doubt are in on it as well. In fact ‘dirty money’ leaving the philippines has doubled in the last 3 years. So everyone knows how much is being lost, and who is shipping it where, but a blind eye is turned.
Everything changes, but nothing changes.
The Assassination Bureau – a peoples initiative/fund, fighting fire with fire, lead with lead.
A hit list of politicians with ranking and price. Top ranking ‘deposed’ once required contribution reached via social funding. Democracy in action.
Failure demands the ultimate penalty.
“An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with
Libertas, brilliant quote! We Filipinos have had way too much democracy and too few assassinations of erring public officials. When enough are finally fed up, I will derive great satisfaction in seeing more of the latter. VV
@ V.V., its GREAT to see you back V.V., and with a vengeance no less!!
As I read the essay I wondered if anyone would dare suggest killing a few, or all, of these erring scumbags that are masquerading as ‘servants of the public’. It is like anything else: when all else fails (there are always ‘well-meaning’, never ending negotiations that accomplish nothing but lip-service, but not quite a good blow-job!) and THIS WILL NOT STOP, its obvious, until the corrupt SCUMBAGS get fuckin shot in the head and die in the street like the scumbags they are! It is SAD, but it is the truth.
They need to be shown, VIOLENTLY, that they have abused the people for too long and it is going to stop! ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, and it is their choice!
REFORM or else, ya fuckin scumbags!
IT MIGHT be a good question to ask! Why is every single aspect of life in the Philippine archipelago corrupt in every way that it can be?
and then ask: How did it get so bad that the only way to STOP: A)corrupt politicians for robbing the treasury. B) corrupt city-hall employees blatantly demanding bribes to do the jobs they are paid to do. C) bus-drivers killing people on the roads daily , and getting away with it. D) Passenger Ships killing people because their non-floating vessels are deemed sea-worthy when they are obviously little more than leaking out-houses! E) Customs officials allowing certain items in the country and demanding bribes from others who are not abusing the ‘import tariff’ laws.
IS BY KILLING A FEW OF THESE SCUMBAGS and showing the rest of the survivors that this is what will happen to YOU if you keep abusing the people.
WHY or, more importantly, HOW has it come to such an extreme circumstance as outright violence in the streets (the language that everyone understands!) is the only way to get these SCUMBAGS to STOP ABUSING THE PEOPLE and just do their fuckin jobs?
WELCOME back, Sir/Ma’am Virtual Vigilante, you’ve been missed!
Gerry, thank you for your effusive welcome. In due course, our quest for ultimate accountability of these parasitic government officials will become reality. Someone in our ranks (judge, jury and executioner) will follow through with meaningful assassinations to broadcast that people, including the good and the decent, are really fed-up and are prepared to kill to steer government to its rightful place–the servant of the taxpayers.
Can you name one good civilized country in the first world which has developed because of assassinations? They killed the best president the US ever had. Killing people is not the answer.
Can you name one good civilized country in the first world that did not shed the blood of its people at some point in its history to get to where it is today? Highly selective, meaningful and gruesome assassinations of corrupt public officials would appear to be an efficient and effective mode of revolution befitting our Age of Information.
It is a shame that these despicable POS can not have the greater good in mind rather than their own greedy agenda’s. These POS/people(?) are un-able to see that there is enough for all, and so continue to stomp on the haven’ts and leave them to drown in typhoons when perfectly capable of providing a rescue effort and then saying that it all came down to a “Your a Marcos and the Pres. is an Aquino”, what total irrelevant, designed to deflect attention type genocidal bull-shit, it all is.
it will take many, but in the end…the coward always backs down from a fight. The people must be taught to see this, and know that once they wake-up there will be but token resistance to their efforts to eradicate the vermin.
(Excerpted from: Where Do You Belong? at Ilonggo Nation Global Federation Blogspot)
“. . . .2) The Military Reformist:
While some who have tasted power during the martial law era and were swallowed by the “Ogres” System wanted “the return of the comeback!” sabi dah! to sing “Happy days are here again” there are still others who are seriously taking things with noble purpose.
If we could blend the vim, vigor and vitality of these idealistic young officers in active duty with the experience and wisdom of likewise, idealistic retired officers who had tried hard but nonetheless failed to cure the “Cancer of Filipino Society” what a relief it would be.
3) The NDF-CPP-NPA:
The seemingly never ending struggle for national democracy of our brothers from the left shall only be supported by majority of their kababayans if and when they abruptly renounce the ‘Godless Foreign Ideology”, that is gradually fading in the global scene.
In short: NDF, maybe! – NPA, perhaps! – but CPP, a “BIG NO!!” NEVER! The question: why wage war with the lowly soldiers and policemen just doing their duties? Why not with the “ogres” themselves? I wonder why? I really wonder why?..
Instead of fighting each other, since they share common objective: to defeat the “ogres” and reform society, why not do your patriotic duty together and offer these few “Incorrigibles” in the altar of righteousness.
It would be hypocritical to say you do not know these people, as we’re sure you do.
To sacrifice “simultaneously” about 10 in every Region is relatively very low compared to the millions of Filipinos who shall be benefited. And more importantly, the impact to discipline the whole Filipino Nation, including the present and future governmental dispensation.
Yes, mga kababayan “Discipline is the name of the game”… and very soon! … or forever perish as a people.
Where do you belong?
“If there be war, let it come in my days –so that my children may live in peace”
Bids are welcome on the following retrobates
I detect some trend emerging here. Root out the problem, and dynasties are clearly the root of all corruption in the philippines, and public enemy No. 1
– family discounts available
– bulk purchase discounts for dynasty rubouts
– january sale 60% off for pensioner politicians ( since on their way out anyway)
For a few good bullets society can be changed
For a few good men progress could be made
For a few good ideas prosperity could be achieved
Call ‘dynasties ‘r’ history’ for further information
Al Capone enterprises
Libertas, a most appropriate solicitation. If Congress (Lower House and Senate) continues to hold-out on an anti-dynasty law, then they are only waiting for the inevitable someone to hunt them down until their entire lot is wiped out. This is one species whose extinction I would heartily welcome.
You offer some humour here…:) Did you miss the Marcos clan by mistake or what?
Libertas, how indeed could you forget the Marcos clan from your illustrious list of scumbags?
Before the “Cold War” vanished majority of the CPP-NPA leaders and people were fighting for somewhat decent ideology. I happen to know some of their leaders.
However, during the last-two decades this organization transformed into a “gun-for-hire” group of thugs hiding behind the slogan “freedom for the poor”.
How could they be considered as defenders of the poor and oppressed if these same people they said they protect are the ones they burden with their foods, medicines and even money, then kill them for refusal to supply it?
You truly are the gist of the Philippines. You have once the most advance transport system in South East Asia, now what do you have?
Let’s not move far. You know how your neighboring cities like Taguig, Makati, and QC were just cogon fields when you already have a flourishing market and paved roads? Now what can you say about them?
You can only boast of your glorious past but all you have now is a wretched present and a gloomy future.
Corrupt government officials in this country are like the hydra. Cut off one head and another one will grow and take its place. There’s growing sentiment that change, or any hope of change here in the PH is just a pipe dream. It will never happen. Ever. Why? We start them young (SK), get their stripes (barangay) and eventually end up as councilors, ,mayors, etc. The lowly clerk at city hall makes more money on kickbacks and favors. My solution, and I think the only solution to rid us of ALL of these corpulent cretins in power (customs, PNP, dpwh, energy, congress, etc) is to bring everyone in the biggest coliseum or arena we have, line them up and make them confess. Then, blow up the building. We need renewal here in this country. The only way to do it is to take out the trash. Blood must be spilled for change. Why not guily, corodile blood? As for squatters, send them all to spratlys and the disputed islands. Make them chinas problem.
WELL NOW, it is certainly refreshing to see that there are many here who realize that the only way to stop what is going on is to deal with the people responsible for their crimes against the people in one way! EXECUTION! Public EXECUTION!
it is sad that it has had to come to this but they have certainly brought this upon themselves, if it happens that they are EXECUTED, the guilty have had and still actually have time to reform themselves, but make no mistake, THEY WON’T! SO…
as the RED QUEEN SAYS:”OFF WITH HIS HEAD!”.
Rank sure has its privileges, almost like the military. Is there really a use for those MMDA personal? Whats the whole purpose of intersection lights and police?
They usually say: ” A leopard will never change its Spots.” You elected an unrepentant Plunderer as a Mayor. Now, he is back on his usual tricks of plundering.
The Culture of Corruption had been there for many years. Extortionists, corrupt people, and all kinds of parasite, infect the City of Manila. Policemen and politicians have many wives. So, they have to extort money to support their many families.
Hanap Buhay nila yun…
I am processing my business permit.
When I am processing my “Sanitation Permit” at the Manila Health Department of the City of Manila, this Sanitation Inspector asked for Php.1,000 for inspection fee and Php.500 for certification and Php.200 for my employees certification.
When I received my sanitation approval, the reflected amount in the document was only Php.200! Php.1,500 was not iterated nor reflected in any receipts.