Tuesday, October 6, 2009

OFWs say no to text tax!

Migrante KSA protests the imposition of text tax, in its various forms, as an additional burden to OFWs who rely on SMS as a means to connect with families in the Philippines. In the face of recent disastrous events brought by Typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng, the backhand way this new and worse proposal of taxing 10% of gross SMS receipts also show the gross callousness of the legislators to the plight of Filipinos.

OFWs say no to text tax!

Migrante Saudi Arabia

With thanks from TxtPower.Org for the image and statement below:
October 6, 2009

House surprises public with new text tax bill, worse than original proposal

By Anthony Ian Cruz
TXTPower President

Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means surreptitiously changed its text tax bill. If before, the proponents wanted P0.05 in additonal tax per text message, they now want ten percent of gross receipts of all messages we consumers buy.

In the middle of a state of calamity, some congressmen seem to have worked overtime to hammer out a new text tax bill to oppress the public, instead of providing relief to victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. It was also an outrage that the proponent and Chairman Exequiel Javier opportunistically and cavalierly used the calamity to justify the new tax.

To the House panel, we say: We say an unconditional no to any new tax in whatever form or shape. Your new bill is worse than the original one you wished to ram down our throats.

Sham public hearing

In today’s “public hearing”, only the proponents, other congressmen, representatives of the BIR, NTC and a telco were given a chance to speak. Consumer sentiments were neither sought nor heard although TXTPower and another group were there, waiting to be acknowledged.

To make matters worse for the public, Rep. Singson moved that an executive session be held, a motion that seeks to exclude everybody else, especially consumers, from taking part in the deliberations.

Chairman Javier should make this new text tax bill available to the public and have it posted on the House website and ensure truly democratic and participative proceedings in his committee.

Flood of lies

We are not stupid as to believe the fiction that is the alleged no-pass-on-provision which seems impossible to implement and said to be illegal under the law. Nor are we naïve as to fall for the claim that this new tax is good for consumers and the public and that the proponents only have the people, especially schoolchidren, in their mind.. Congressmen must stop this flood of lies.

We urge House members to join us and Deputy Speaker Raul del Mar and Reps. Monico Puentevella, Roilo Golez, Giorgidi Aggabao, Teddy Casino, Rufus Rodriguez, Raymond Palatino, Satur Ocampo, Neri Colmenares, Liza Maza, Luz Ilagan, Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod in questioning and opposing this new text tax bill. ###

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