February 10. 2005
Workers belonging to the Alliance of Progressive Labor stormed the senate today to hold a dragon dance to shoo away the bad spirits of anti-people legislation and the proposed bill increasing the VAT rate now pending approval in the Senate.
“Workers gather here today to reiterate in stronger terms our utmost objection to the increase in the VAT rate,” Edwin Bustillos, Deputy Secretary General of the Alliance of Progressive Labor, said.
“In 2004 alone, there was an estimated 59% collection gap in VAT, which clearly demonstrates that the problem still remains with tax collection and administration,” Bustillos added.
Meanwhile, Paul Teotico, APL-National Capital Region Chairperson said, “For as long as the government turns a blind eye to the inefficiencies and corruption that underlie the underperformance of its revenue generating agencies then no matter how much we increase the VAT we will still be facing a fiscal crisis.”
“The cost of living in Metro Manila alone is already somewhere north of P500, which kept on rising and therefore, a VAT rate increase will only end up being paid for by workers as this regressive tax finds its way to products that are socially sensitive” Teotico added.
According to the APL protestors, they brought along a dancing dragon to shoo away the bad spirits that may be shrouding the Senate that would lead our Senators to approve this bill. The group warned that if the dragon dance doesn’t work, then a different brand of luck will come down upon our Senators once we vote them out of office.