Monday, August 04, 2008

Gloria's Popularity

Gloria once again stuck to her old line that she doesn't mind being unpopular as long as she can deliver the goods. This is the reason why she is sticking to her EVAT as the funds would be used for her pro-poor programs. But in reality, EVAT is the most convenient of all forms of taxation. No need for any king of legwork to collect it. In more simpler terms, is a lazy governments way of stealing from the people. The EVAT is a tax on tax on tax. What the people should realize is that everything from the raw material to the finished product is heavily taxed every step of the way.

DepEd's Jesli Lapus defended GMA's Pantawid program saying that this is a proactive move by the administration. Instead of waiting for the trickle down effect of Gloria's economic programs, this now brings the supposed trickle down effect directly to the people. As one beneficiary pointed out, P500 will not go far. What they really need are opportunities and not one-time dole outs. Sustainability is the key. After the P500 is gone, beneficiaries will go back to their miserable lives.

Gloria doesn't mind being unpopular to most Filipinos, what she is concerned about is being popular to the right people. The Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) loses an estimated P142bilion a year because of smuggling and evasion. Yet the BOC leadership has the temerity to reward itself with millions because according to them, they performed well. Performance or dereliction of duty? I suppose the latter as smuggling still reigns supreme in the ports around the country.

Yes, Gloria is popular. Popular to the big-time smugglers and tax evaders who support her. A good president will be very popular even if he makes some unpopular decisions, while a bad president is unpopular because he is simply bad. This is the true reason behind Gloria's unpopularity. She simply is a bad president and not because of her unpopular decisions. The corruption in her administration is just too ominous for people to change their perception. Bad leadership leads to bad governance. The unity Gloria seeks will never come as good and evil will never mix. It's either we roll over and expose our asses to her evil ways or we can finally choke up enough courage to just kick her out of office.