Where do my taxes go?
A rhetorical question in a perfect country where public health and education are top priorities, the roads are paved, the mass transit is effective, the streetlights are fully operational at night, most people are generally happy with their lives, and yada yada yada. You get the drift.
Filipinos like to complain (like what I will do in the next paragraphs). We complain about the littlest of things and I can totally understand why.
We have public officials who gargle bullshit every morning and eat bullcrap for breakfast. We have government employees who are ready to eat you alive if you so much as throw them a seemingly “mundane” question in the middle of their afternoon nap. We have roads that don’t last long enough to witness a new mayor being sworn to the office. We have…oh wait, “new” mayor isn't a thing in this country where political dynasties are everywhere.
Wait a sec… please allow me to calm my tits first before I go berserk and strangle the nearest plant in sight.
I’m aware that this is one bloody topic that’s been discussed repetitively over the past few decades. But the fact of the matter is, it will be very difficult to “clean” the system. It will take a lot of time and effort to rid the government of filthy officials and employees because let’s be honest here, we’re probably talking about wiping off 99.9% of their population. So no, even though it’s the easiest thing to do, I don’t encourage pointing fingers (but yes, I’m guilty of doing such a thing from time to time).
Bumaha na naman sa Malabon. Si P’noy kasi.
Tumaas na naman ang presyo ng mga bilihin. Si P’noy kasi.
May ni-rape na naman sa Bulacan. Si P’noy kasi.
We elected these people ourselves. Whether or not we received gifts during campaign period, we all consciously cast our votes and elected these bastards a.k.a lame excuse for a human being. But hey! Some of us honestly thought that certain candidates would be different and would finally do something for, you know, the betterment of the Filipino people! The catalysts of change! But it would always turn out that they’re all cut from the same cloth – greedy, lying, and conniving sonuvabiatch’s cloth.
So how do we solve a problem like ours?!
I don’t have an absolute answer, but I have an idea. How about we start with having a sense of ownership?
Every time we eat out, or buy something in the supermarket, or shop for new clothes, 12% of our money automatically goes to the kaban ng bayan. Aside from that, we pay all sorts of taxes – individual income tax, corporate tax, sin tax, excise tax, amusement tax, real estate tax, etc.
Our roads are built with our tax money. It is OURS. But what do we do with it? We spit on it. We piss on it. We poop on it (gross, but it happens).
The bridges and streetlamps are OURS. But we steal parts of it not realizing that we are essentially stealing from our own pockets.
The parks and other infrastructure are OURS. But we let others vandalize it and let MMDA paint it with atrocious graphics.
We mindlessly throw our candy wrappers and cigarette butts anywhere, anytime, not realizing that our own tax money will be used to clean up after our own mess.
Can we imagine doing the same thing to our priced smartphones? Can we stomach the sight of some hooligan sticking a chewing gum to our precious gadgets? Oh, the horror! Right??
So why not exercise the same level of protectiveness over our public infrastructure, which is worth more than any gadget in the world? Public highways that actually cost us more money than our beloved designer shoes?
Perhaps it’s the 300+ years of colonization that should be blamed for this kind of mentality – the kind where we always separate ourselves from the government. Perhaps it’s how the media portrays and twists reality. Or perhaps we should stop blaming others for our lack of ownership and accountability.
Ay, ang dami ko nang nasabi. But my point really is:
We are the government. It is OUR money.
We should know what is ours, i.e. the next time you see an “Oplan Libreng Tuli brought to you by Councilor Bwakanabitch” poster, don’t be too quick to sing praises. Remember, that is our tax money they’re using. So in essence, there is no libre, we are only enjoying the benefits of our hard-earned moolah.
We should value what is ours. Respect. Protect.
End of verbal diarrhea. I don't normally write preachy, self-righteous blog posts because I myself hate that kind of stuff...but for some reason I felt compelled to write this. Must be the hormones + the ghastly sight of my bi-monthly taxes. Yep, that must be it :p