This news might sound shocking to someone who is quick to react, but not to people who understand the smart idea of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
On Friday, one of his top employees revealed that the good senator is allegedly crafting a bill that could help the country collect at least P725 million in extra taxes monthly or at least P8.6 billion every year.
The top senate official, who refused to identify himself because of the controversial nature of the issue, narrated that Sen. Trillanes sent people in Zamboanga City, Bacolod, and Batangas City to conduct surveys on daily income of Badjaos. The source said, Trillanes started the idea after reading a Facebook post before the May 9 elections about a Badjao beggar who earned about P1,500 a day in Silay City, part of Metro Bacolod.
See the original Facebook post below in Hiligaynon/Ilonggo.
While buying high blood and diabetes maintenance drugs in pharmacy, a Badjao came and asked to exchange his daily (coins) income into bills – his total collected amount through begging in a day was around P1,500. If there are 30 days in a month, he could earn as much as P45,000. How I wish I could be a Badjao. I could earn big without tax deductions. (The poster, Reynaldo Garriel is actually a public school teacher).
The source said, the report collected by Trillanes’ people who conducted the survey matched with the post made by Garriel, so he went ahead and drafted a bill to tax Badjao and other “legitimate beggars”. When asked what “legitimate beggars” means, the source said it was the term used by the senator in addressing jobless people who are begging on streets daily.
Based on the record, the Badjaos alone have a population of around 470,000 adults living and begging all over the country. The source estimated that if each of them earn at least P1,000/day, each could pay P1,541.83 in income taxes per month from a P15,000 monthly income. The source also added that the bill also plan to include SSS and Philhealth, which could cost each Badjao an additional P832.5 in deductions.
When asked about his personal opinion if the bill will pass, the source only said, “I don’t think other senators would agree to tax indigenous people. I think they are not yet losing their minds.”./ Clara Recto – Batangas City/
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