SAYING NO TO THE TEXT TAX

SAYING NO TO THE TEXT TAX (Free Enterprise Vol. 1 No. 1 2010)
By: Joshua Lipana

In a rare moment of rationality Senators from across the aisle are opposing the Text Tax; Mar Roxas expressed a wonderful assessment of our situation: “Our people need tax relief, not more taxes. We are better spenders of our money against government spending it for us.” [1] Senator Chiz Escudero said in Filipino “They don’t want to cut the VAT on oil. They don’t want to cut the income taxes of minimum wage earners. Now they’re thinking of more taxes, I think that’s too much,” [2]  Other lawmakers are also opposing this abhorrent proposal such as Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and many others.

Globe Telecom Inc. is spot on when they say that this proposal is “one  of the worst anti-consumer legislations ever made.” [3]  The services the telecom industry provides us are beyond affordable and their promos make it almost dirt cheap to call and text family and friends. “What we have at hand is one of the worst anti-consumer legislations that, once implemented, will destroy the viability of these aggressive promos that the public today benefits from, like free and unlimited SMS. The days of unlimited and free SMS will be numbered,” [4] said Globe Chief Legal Counsel and Senior Advisor Atty. Rodolfo Salalima in a statement.

The economic impact of this will be disastrous, foreign investors are already hesitant to do business here due to our regulations and corrupt bureaucracy a new tax on the best industries in this country is not going to help us in the least. Smart Communications Inc. is also opposing this measure and warning us rightfully that this bill will drive away investors.

OFW groups have also promised to fight this bill.

TXTPower[5] president Anthony Ian Cruz rightfully noted that people already pay a 12% vat for the services the telecom industries provide us. “For example, the Arroyo government charges VAT amounting to P3.60 for every P30 electronic load, P36.00 for every P300 call card, P144 for every P1,200 monthly postpaid subscription fee,” [6] said Cruz .

One of the odder arguments being used by the text tax advocates is that the proposed tax is going to discourage people from wasting time on texting and the like. This one doesn’t need a long answer; People’s texting habits are none of their business.

More importantly this proposal is evil because it seeks to single out a particular industry and punish it precisely because it’s successful. The telecommunications industry earned every peso their making and in the process has provided us with a service that’s cheap, reliable and something that we as consumers want. This Text Tax proposal is an attack on wealth that was honestly and rightfully earned. Those companies earned their profits through productive achievement, and confiscating the wealth that they earned is deeply immoral; I shout as every Filipino should; NO to the Text Tax!

Footnotes:
[1] 1/10/2008 INQUIRER.net  “Senators oppose tax on text” By Veronica Uy
[2] Ibid.
[3]   abs-cbnNews.com 09/10/2009 ‘No more unlimited SMS with text tax bill’
[4] Ibid.
[5] Although the following statement from TXTPower is quite good I do not support this organization in any way to due their other advocacies which are clearly statist.
[6]  TXTPower.com “Taxpayers Revolt Vs. Text Tax” 9/ 9 / 2009

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