i will admit that i did not vote for you. i voted for gibo for a whole lot of reasons. but a great number of friends and relatives chose you because of your integrity. and, while that alone was not enough to make me cast my ballot for yet another aquino in malacanang, i accepted the people's choice calmly. they have spoken, and despite your lack of experience, lack of laws passed, and (on a totally shallow note) lack of charisma, i believed that the choice they made was a fair choice.
after all, had you not won, it seemed that the alternative would be to have another six years of erap. and that, to me, was totally unacceptable.
half of the filipino population (or more) waited for your inaugural address. sad to say, i went to dapitan to shop with my friends. still, i heard so much about your famous speech, especially where you promised not to use wang-wang anymore. you definitely shocked binay with that order, i must admit.
i also admired you for promising during your campaign to impose no new taxes. i'm a middle-class single employee with zero dependents. the government's taxes has burdened me greatly over the years, and my only pampalubag-loob was the fact that i went to UP when tuition fee was still Php300 per unit -- four years of undergraduate education and five years (i did evening class) of law school meant that i have used up my fair share of taxes to be the person i am today.
like obama, you promised change. you were a breath of fresh air. you, the president's people, instantly became the symbol of hope that our country needed so badly.
so why am i disappointed?
you want to increase basic education for another two years. if you've been inside a public school classroom recently, you'd realize that another two years in an environment where very little learning takes place is just a waste of time. were you not informed that these children go to class as early as 6 am in some places because two more shifts have to use the classroom that same day? are you not aware that there is a major lack of teachers, not to mention qualified teachers, to teach subjects like english, math, and science? is quantity of education necessarily the same as quality? as a former educator myself, as a practicum coordinator who has fielded her own students to public schools, as someone who has visited more public school classrooms that she can remember over the last ten years, i can validly claim that before anyone should think of burdening parents with an additional two years, we must make the ten years that are already there worth it. quality first, mr. president, before quantity.
you want to increase revenue by taxing toll fees. the BIR claims that this translates to an additional 1 billion in revenue. still, how does this jive with your earlier promise of no new taxes? oh, right, VAT is already a tax, and therefore, to apply VAT to something that was not previously taxed is, technically your BIR people say, not a new tax. so are we going into technicalities now? i guess since you live in QC you are quite unaware of how toll fees are already quite burdensome ... a 12% VAT would mean that an ordinary motorist like me will have to resort to circuitous routes to avoid paying more than what i believe is reasonable. i don't even want to go into the question of whether or not it is proper to impose VAT on toll fees which, to the mind of some politicians, are already levies by the government which, to a certain extent, are taxes on the people.
you refuse to comply with holiday economics. so yes, the 21st is a special holiday, and yes, you did declare that saturday to be a non-working holiday. i also understand that some businessmen lose a great deal of money because of the movable holidays that GMA came up with. so i agree, celebrating our independence day on a day other than june 12 is weird. still, these 3-day holidays have done wonders for our tourism, and has given our overburdened workers the rest they need. in a country where an increase in salary is more imaginary than anything, i believe that these holidays are the mini-treats that buoys the spirit of the working class.
then again, who am i? i am largely apolitical at most. i have voted "trapo" in local government for years. as a matter of fact, embarrassing as it may be, i will admit to having voted for jaworski because my mom asked me too. but i'd also like to think that i am a filipino, with opinions and feelings, with ideas that matter. i know you are listening to your conscience. but please, mr. president, listen to me too.
*image from http://www.apl.org.ph/?p=807