By Juan L. Mercado
“Today, is the first blank page of a 365 page book,” we’re told on New Year’s Day. “Write it well.” How many will skid instead into what the Economist calls “New-Year Irresolution.”
By Juan L. Mercado
The Year 2012 is now almost out the door. Was it an undiluted “Annus Horribilis” or “Year of Horrors”? Queen Elizabeth II dusted off that phrase in a 1992 address. Fire had gutted parts of Windsor Palace, and family scandals were capped by the Prince of Wales separating from Princess Diana.
By Ramon R. del Rosario Jr.
THE TIME for decisive action on “sin tax” reform is now. Last Nov. 6, Sen. Franklin Drilon, acting chair of the Senate ways and means committee, introduced on second reading an amended version of Senate Bill 3299, the sin tax bill. The measure replaced the bill that Sen. Ralph Recto, the previous committee chair, had reported out to the Senate.
By Neal H. Cruz
I read only recently Senator Ralph Recto’s sponsorship speech on Senate Bill 3299, the Sin Tax bill, as reported out by the Committee on Ways and Means that he headed until recently, and I think he is unfairly being demonized by those who would mostly benefit from it. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, and Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares criticized Recto for paring down the projected income from the very high taxes on cigarettes and liquor from P60 billion to only P15 billion. The combined pummeling forced Recto to resign the chairmanship of the committee. Sen. Franklin Drilon took over the position.
By Peter Wallace
On Dec. 21, Congress closes down for the year. That’s the day when the sin tax law must be voted upon. By Jan. 21, when Congress resumes, politicians will be consumed by thoughts of winning again. And raising taxes is not a way to win votes. So it must be now.