I was wondering how socialist and ne0-Malthusian Rep. Edcel Lagman’s Centenarian Act, which was vetoed by Pres. Noynoy Aquino for being “oppressive”, escaped political realm’s and pundits’ attention and scrutiny.
The public was again informed about the nature of this issue after the mainstream media reported that Lagman’s welfare legislation was blocked by the President. If passed, around 8,000 Filipino centenarians would be entitled to a P100,000 cash gift, plus 75-percent discount for purchase of goods and services.
The country’s so-called political pundits were absolutely mum on this issue, which somehow indicates we are indeed a welfarist-collectivist society.
It appears that Lagman, Albay’s first district representative, had been busy passing socialistic welfare measures after successfully securing the passage of his Reproductive Health measure in December last year.
The President did something wise and agile yesterday when he blocked the proposed measure, calling it “excessive and unreasonable” and “patently oppressive”. He was worried the 75-percent discount, which would not be deductible for employers, would hurt businesses. He said the huge discount ““exceeds the usual mark-up rate of most businesses and will obliterate profit margins and result in capital loss.”
Disappointed in the President’s veto of his proposed law, Lagman blamed “bill grabber” Sen. Francisco Pangilinan who amended the house version by increasing the discount to whopping 75 percent.
The two lawmakers may now be in heated word war, but both of them absolutely agree business owners should subsidize centenarians’ purchases. Also, both statist lawmakers are not concerned with how business owners would offset their losses, as they’re more interested in allegedly helping extremely old people.
“More centenarians will be gone without getting the legislated benefits,” Lagman lamented.
“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.
“The original House bill provided for only 50% discount as an ‘exception from the value-added tax (VAT), if applicable,’ and as an amendment to the various Senior Citizens Acts but without removing the tax credit or deduction in favor of concerned establishments so that they will not incur business loses,” he added.
Pangilinan hit back by saying “Lagman agreed to the proposals and it was he who requested that I file a counterpart bill in the Senate.”
“Now with this veto, he flip-flops, does a 180-degree turn and resorts to name calling and finger pointing. What a shame. I expected better from a seasoned legislator. His actuations are saddening and pitiful,” Pangilinan said.
Despite their strong disagreement, both lawmakers believe employers or businesses should be sacrificed to further boost their political image and electability. Both believe it is their legislative duty to help the poor, centenarians, marginalized women, etc. at the expense of the productive members of society.
Lagman’s legislative record shows he’s willing to sacrifice certain social sectors, such as employers and the entire medical industry (through his RH Law), to serve his sociopathic political or ideological agenda. This fascist lawmaker proposed to penalize people and violate their right to free speech for a so-called crime of “malicious disinformation” of the RH law.
In a previous blog I stated that the Centenarian Act would negatively affect small business owners.
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.
The country’s excessive and intrusive regulatory framework has definitely taken a heavy toll on business and private sector. This year, the Philippines was ranked 138th in terms of ease in doing business. Apart from dealing with massive regulations, businesses also pay a total tax rate (% profit) 46.6 percent. This represents the amount of taxes and mandatory contributions to be paid by businesses in the second year of operation, expressed as a share of commercial profits.
Regulations and punitive welfare measures have unintended consequences. No wonder why unemployment rate in the Philippines remains high.