Barely a week as the new head of the Ministry of Interior and Local Government, Secretary Benhur Abalos has announced that he will exercise “people power” among young people, parents, schools, churches and communities. communities against “illegal drugs” and other social ills. An indication that he is deeply aware and correctly understands that a comprehensive approach at the barangay level would immediately isolate and drive out these drug addicts. At the same time, it will stop future drug users in every community.
The idea of relentlessly pursuing drug-related cases in court is hampered by the current lack of witnesses against drug suspects. By mobilizing barangay officials to testify in every drug case in their area, all of their mayors and governors will be encouraged to follow these ongoing drug cases to their logical conclusion, conviction and jail terms for drug traffickers and their cronies.
The political will of this administration would also be tested here to finally root out all of the PNP crooks who “protect” these drug syndicates from smuggling to street distribution. The PNP’s director of operations, Major General PM Valeriano de Leon, is very optimistic that this “new strategy” will end or at least reduce the drug problem in the country to a manageable level in six years.
Come to think of it, the people should really unite now, once and for all, against all forms of “illegal drugs”, and perhaps the winning slogan of unity from the BBM-Sara tandem should be applied here. And maybe, later, we could also tackle all the other criminals, scammers, physical or digital, who continue to victimize our helpless citizens.
FILE ESTAFA CASE AGAINST PANTAWID PAMILYA RACKETEERS
I hope DSWD/Secretary Erwin Tulfo brings the necessary charges against all unqualified recipients of Pantawid Pamilya for receiving benefits and defrauding the country of needed government funds. About nine hundred thousand out of a total of 4.4 million 4P recipients were found to be “well-off”, using cash assistance for gambling or alcohol. Some have pawned their DSWD payment cards to loan sharks who regularly collect their monthly aid of 1,200 to 1,400 pesos with 30% interest. This is a very clear case of “estafa” and to tolerate them is against the law.
BBM’s directive was to clean up the nearly one million beneficiaries wrongly chosen by the previous National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction or Listahanan. In three to four weeks, these leeches will be replaced by new recipients as part of their new waiting list. Remember that during the distribution of “ayudas” for the COVID pandemic for the past two years, the number of really poor but “unlisted” people in barangays, municipalities and cities, surfaced. It was also at this time that the DSWD discovered “well-to-do” 4P families who continued to receive benefits even though their children had already graduated from school”.
However, I have reservations about Tulfo’s proposal to distribute the 4Ps fund “lump sum” to beneficiaries to supposedly give them “capital” for small businesses. A better idea may be to provide free TESDA training to these families for simple but on-demand jobs, such as masonry, carpentry, plumbing, electrical maintenance and other technical courses. These will surely ensure the elevation of their families inside or outside their quarters.
FACEBOOK, GOOGLE, OTHER FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY GIANTS NOW
After so many years of free riding, now is the time for non-resident foreign technology companies doing business in the country to pay their rightful taxes. Other countries in Europe such as Austria, France, Italy, Spin, Turkey and the UK have implemented a Digital Services Tax (DST), varying on “online advertising” , the digital interface and “data transmission”. But here, the digital VAT bill is still sleeping in Congress.
Just open your You Tube, FACEBOOK, TIKTOK, GRAB or SHOPPEE accounts at any time and you will be overwhelmed with promotional video clips, advertisements and other pop-ups, like what we have seen before on our TVs. Billions of TV ADS pesos then shared by ABS-CBN and GMA-7 moved to these global tech giants and escaped the grasp of the BIR due to the failure of Congress to enact tax legislation.
Albay Rep./Joey Salceda insists that P154-B in incremental revenue over five years could be realized in his digital economy tax bill. This would cover the imposition of value added tax on digital services, such as digital advertising, subscription services and other online services delivered over the internet.
Of course, these tech giants will push for international tax treaties for lower digital taxes with our Bureau of Internal Revenue, especially those that the US government protects Google and Facebook. You may now understand why this much-needed “digital VAT bill” was never approved by our own Congress for previous administrations, even though other countries succeeded. Do we have to thank our congressmen, senators and former occupants of Malacañang who enabled this non-tax imposition on digital services? Of course not!
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