Philippine SMS Tax Unlikely
By Eric Lin, Tue Jun 15 01:00:00 GMT 2004
After a weekend of Philippino politicians and leaders decrying President Arroyo's decision to even consider a tax on SMS, it comes to light that this is actually the least likely solution to the Philippines' growing deficit.
The Philippines has been considering an SMS tax for the past few months as one of many efforts to slow its growing deficit. This weekend President Arroyo announced she was considering a number of new taxes to shore up her country's budget, and the SMS tax is still among them.
It didn't take long before a group of independent Senators who constantly push President Arroyo to consider leftist causes publicly decried the proposed tax. Senator Joker Arroyo noted that "texting has become the great equalizer" between the rich and the poor, and a tax would really only hurt the poor. Feature members commented in our previous article that an SMS tax may even be a subtle (or not so subtle) way for the government to suppress the large under-class of the Philippines from using text messaging to incite another coup.
Joker Arroyo and his Wednesday Group are not alone opposing the SMS text. Other Senators have voiced their concerns and even the church has gotten in on the action Archbishop Oscar Cruz lending his voice to the opposition as well, begging "even text will be taxed? Have mercy on the people!"
According to President Arroyo's Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and additional sources, the SMS tax is actually one of the least appealing options on the table. Whether it has been the public outcry over the effect it will have on the text-reliant Philippinos, or because an SMS tax simply won't generate as much revenue as other taxes, the very people who proposed the tax seems to be shying away from it.