BAYAN - Southern Mindanao Region

Black Friday protest vs soaring prices

at DTI Region 11 officies


Davao City


July 25, 2008




Photos courtesy of BAYAN - SMR


Southern Mindanao Region
Office Address: 88 Palma Gil St., Bo. Obrero, Davao City | Tel #: (082) 224-2642 |

Press Release
July 24, 2008

Bayan urges people to boycott Gloria Arroyo's SONA

Davao City – Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Southern Mindanao Region (BAYAN-SMR) in a press conference today urged the people to boycott Gloria Arroyo's State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 28 as a sign of protest to the worsening state of our nation's economy.

Bayan had instead encouraged drivers, vendors, professionals, students, church people, businessmen, workers, government employees and officials to go out and show their defiance at the streets.

"We have all become victims of Gloria Arroyo's corrupt, fascist, and sham presidency and it is high time that we act together regardless of our social status. The crises are hitting all of us deliberately and we must take our remaining chances to save our lives and the future of our children," Makpil Camacho BAYAN-SMR deputy secretary general warned.

"To begin with, Gloria Arroyo gained her presidency by rigging the 2001 presidential election. She does not hold the people's mandate to speak and act on their behalf and this makes her the most unreliable person in Malacañang," Camacho said.

"We can not expect Gloria Arroyo to resolve the crisis on rice and oil as her administration is actually benefiting from the taxes and kickbacks that are collected from them. All the more that we can not expect her to stop the implementation of EVAT knowing that this is dictated by the IMF-World Bank," Camacho added.

"There are only two basic policies in the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. One is for profiteering and the other is for the satisfaction of US-Imperialist dictates," Camacho stressed.

"With all the scams that Gloria Arroyo, her family, and her allies have got into, what changes could we expect from their policies?" Camacho raised.

"The administration's battle cry 'Ramdam ang Kaunlaran' is nothing more than rhetoric. Their rallying call 'Labanan ang Kahirapan' appears so much as a mere political gimmickry," She added.

"We are sad to say that we expect less of the truths in Gloria Arroyo's SONA. What are sure to appear in her speech are her lies and grandstanding of the economic growth that only she can feel and understand," Camacho said.

Bayan along with various people's organizations in the region will stage their own version of SONA dubbed as "SONA sa Katawhan".

"We are inviting the people to join and witness 'SONA sa Katawhan' this coming July 28 at the Rizal Park. This is our alternative to Gloria Arroyo's deceitful State of the Nation Address," Camacho said.

For reference: Ms. Makpil Camacho, BAYAN-SMR Deputy Secretary General, Contact #: 0928-565-7679


Katas ng VAT for the poor: the data and the math


""It's easy to understand why many would want to see taxes on oil and electricity removed. [But] if [the] VAT on oil and power is lifted, how do we replace about P80 billion in revenues, mostly used for the poor?

"Won't scrapping the VAT on energy benefit mainly the well-to-do, who consume 84 percent of oil and 90 percent of power, while depriving the poor of billions [of pesos] in programs now funded by VAT?"

---GMArroyo, Inquirer, July 18, 2008

Although not new, still It is a clever  idea: tax the rich and the well-to-do since they allegedly use most of the oil and power, and then use the billions  to subsidize the  poor. That is why Arroyo bandies it around as "Katas ng VAT para sa mahirap".


What does the hard data from the Dept of Energy (DOE) tell us?. In 2007, electricity sales by sectors were as follows:


Industrial       - 34.41%
Commercial  - 28.02%
Others          - 3.42% (street lighting, public buildings and the like)
Residential   - 34.11%

The industrial and commercial sectors consumed 62.4% of the electricity. The companies promptly passed on the VAT on power to the buyers of their products and services  -- the consumers, which include the poor and the vast majority of the people. Thus, the consumers themselves, not the owners of the companies, ultimately paid the VAT on power


The 3.4% consumed by street lighting, public buildings and the like and the VAT paid for them came from the people's taxes. Therefore, the VAT on the total of the three items, 66%, were paid indirectly by the people, not the rich.


That leaves us the 34% residential consumption. What percentage of this was used by the well-to-do and the rich?


DOE has no breakdown of the residential customers but Meralco has. We can take Meralco's latest data since it is indicative of the figure for the whole Philippines.

The well-to-do are presumably those consuming more than 500 kwh.  This group consumed 28% of the total power delivered to homes.  That means that relative to the nation-wide power consumption in the DOE data only about 10% of the VAT on power were paid for by the well-to-do and the rich, i.e., 0.28 x 34%.







We can now say that the vast majority of the people, which includes the poor, pay 90% of the VAT on power.  Only a fraction of the collected VAT is doled out to the poor as subsidies under the signboard "Katas ng VAT para sa mahirap". Correct math on hard data tells us that the people are better helped by removing the VAT on power, and with the bonus that they have their dignity intact.

As for Arroyo's claim that 84% of the VAT on oil is paid for by the well-to-do and the rich --- I would leave that as a homework for Arroyo and her economic advisers. I could give them a tip though: check out how much of the oil is consumed by the commercial and industrial groups whose VAT on oil are passed on to consumers. Check out also the oil consumption by government.

Arroyo will deliver her SONA tomorrow. She still has time to go over her data if she intends to repeat her claim and justify the VAT on power and oil. Otherwise people will say that her claim does not reflect the reality of concrete. People call it as not being truthful, or lying, or pagsoSONAngaling.


-- AGHAM/POWER Research

   July 27, 2008



The poor subsidizing themselves

From Dec.2005 to June July 2008, the Meralco lifeliners (costumers using 100 kwh or below) paid VAT as follows:

50 kwh lifeliners      -      P337 Million
70 kwh lifeliners      -      P383 Million
100 kwh lifeliners     -   P1.080 Billion

              TOTAL      -   P1.8 Billion

From the collected VAT on power, Arroyo is giving out P852 million for the P500/lifeliner subsidy.. Thus, the lifeliners subsidized themselves and they still have P1 billion with Arroyo.

There must be a name for this kind of give-and-take where the poor shell out P1.8 billion to the Arroyo government, Arroyo comes around to say she would like to help them in these difficult times by giving P852 million to them, and keeping silent about the remaining P1 billion.



 Anakpawis' Captain Crook, the first talking effigy

Photos courtesy of Anakpawis partylist