Paying for someone else


Besides the daily news the second most relevant pages in the newspapers are the commentaries or opinion sections when supposed more knowledgeable voices make known their opinions on various topics assailing our modern society.

While scanning one such Commentaries I came across a column by radio anchor and fellow blogger Herman Tiu Laurel entitled “Subsidy for sex, yes; for MRT/LRT or rice, no” published on May 23, 2011 (Monday).

I scanned through the whole thing and didn’t really see anything worth commenting on until he talked about the subsidy of the MRT/LRT line:

“The appeal of the MRT/LRT subsidy was met with different tactics of dissuasion by Aquino III to convince commuters that it is such a burden to government. And when the commuting public wasn’t fazed, PeNoy’s spokesmen even attempted to browbeat Metro Manila’s MRT/LRT-riding population into thinking that they’re being unfair, selfish and abusive for demanding this transport subsidy when the rest of the nation’s taxpayers aren’t using the system. Yet what these prevaricators conveniently omit is that these MRT/LRT commuters are precisely the majority that go to work everyday earning subsistence wages from which government exacts its pound of flesh in terms of taxes

The last sentence which I’ve highlighted is the main statement that I’m having a problem with. It is a thoroughly unfair and largely manila-centric mode of thinking. It seems to suggest that commuters of the MRT/LRT which mainly operates in Metro Manila are the only people who contribute to government tax and Philippine society as a whole.

What Mr. Laurel seems to conveniently omit is that the MRT/LRT lines do not operate in highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Davao, and Cotabato. And these (I repeat the adjective) highly urbanized cities contribute much to the Philippine industry and contributes as much as Metro manila while receiving none of the benefits of the MRT/LRT lines.

So yes, a majority of the nations taxpayers are not using the system (and by majority that includes every territory outside of the National Capital Region which accounts for less than 20% of the total area of the country)

6 Tugon to “Paying for someone else”

  1. Very disappointing reading that from him. Just so he can win the sympathy.

  2. the fact that MRT plays a major part of transporting the NCR workforce wouldn’t justify if it deserves the subsidy or not. it should always be in the interest of every taxpayers of this nation whenever the issue is about their tax money being spend for the benefits of the few.

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