For once President Noynoy Aquino did something right by blocking a legislative proposal that would give benefits and discounts on purchases to over 7,000 Filipinos aged 100 years old or more. Interestingly, the commander-in-chief of greater good and social sacrifice did not just veto the proposed Centenarian Act; he also called it “excessive and unreasonable” and “patently oppressive”.
Now Mr. Aquino drew flak for being indifferent to the plight and conditions of too old Filipinos who were lucky enough to have reached the age of 100. His veto meant around 7,3000 Filipino centenarians would not be able to receive a cash gift of P100,000, plus a whopping 75-percent discount on goods and services.
The President noticed that the 75-percent discount would not be tax deductible for business owners, adding this “exceeds the usual mark-up rate of most businesses and will obliterate profit margins and result in capital loss.”
In the Philippines, centenarians are somehow considered ‘endangered species’ since the average life expectancy for Filipinos is 67 years for men and 73 for women.
This ‘manufactured’ issue also raises the very familiar question– Why deprive very old people of their right to cash gifts and privately subsidized goods and services?
This rhetorical question was in fact used by Filipino Malthusians and pro-RH fanatics in demonizing those who opposed or still oppose the Reproductive Health measure, which was enacted into law in December last year.
The proposed Centenarian Act looks and sounds very much familiar to those who followed the divisive reproductive health issue because it was authored by the man who proposed the anti-population law- Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman.
Lagman said his original proposal was 50-percent discount. However, the House version was jacked up by Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who Lagman called “bill grabber”, to the final 75 percent.
It was Pangilinan’s killer provision that did it, said Lagman.
“Bill grabbers are sometimes the bane of legislation because instead of assuring the enactment of a measure into law, they prejudice the final approval of a bill by the President,” Lagman said in a statement.
Oh, really? But still, a 50-percent discount or any percent is oppressive because the proposed law seeks to pass on the burden to companies and business owners.
Lagman is not just a politician and anti-business owner; he’s also a socialist. This is probably the reason why he hates business owners so much that he’s shamelessly, capriciously using his political power to sacrifice and punish businesses or the private sector in the name of the poor and the greater good.
I call this Lagman-Pangilinan issue ‘manufactured’ because it wasn’t meant to be. This “oppressive” proposal has successfully created a non-issue and some sort of class warfare rhetoric that’s now being used by the leftists to denounce the government and to demand more freebies.
I believe it’s wrong to say that it’s OK to give excessive freebies to old people who happened to be 100 years old or more so long as the government pays for them. The bitter truth is, the government has no money. It’s the taxpayers who pay for those freebies.
Why should others, particularly business people, have to suffer or subsidize some people’s perks and expenses because of their age?
It’s easy for corrupt trapoliticians to force others, particularly businessmen and enterprising individuals, to help the centenarians because they know they wouldn’t be directly affected, financially or economically. In fact it could boost their image and electability. It’s easy for them to simply pass stupid, punitive bills into law because that’s all they can do to allegedly help the poor. They don’t have to work and sell products and services to survive. All they need to do is redistribute extorted wealth and money.
Those affected by these trapoliticians’ social programs and political measures better not squeak or complain lest they be accused of being “greedy” or makasarili. Yet how about the recipients of goods or social beneficiaries? Are they not greedy when they receive so-called benefits from the people who were forced by law to make social sacrifices?
The principle is, no one should be sacrificed or penalized for other people’s misfortune, conditions, or extraordinary age.
The law is so stupid because it’s prone to abuse. What would prevent a Filipino centenarian’s children, grandchildren, relatives or neighbors from using his/her benefit card to buy groceries, medicines, or goods? Besides, the legislative proposal wouldn’t directly affect Big Corporations like San Miguel, Monde, and Big Pharmaceutical companies, which some people hate or denounce as evil; instead, it would affect small businesses and grocery stores.
But some people might argue, “Well it will directly affect big malls like SM, Robinsons, Glorietta and others…” They’re probably right. But those malls and businesses have to offset their losses by means of the following methods:
- Layoff or firing of staff. They might be forced to fire people.
- Price hikes. They’d be forced to increase the prices of their goods and services.
- Freeze hiring.
- No salary increase.
In other words, such a stupid law would have unintended consequences and that it might affect you in the long run! So, don’t be stupid.
How Twitter-folks reacted to this issue
None! Like I said, it’s a manufactured issue. Lagman is trying to bankrupt this country with his socialistic political programs and measures. Too bad P-Noy signed Lagman’s RH proposal into law.