AFTER walking my dog for 30 minutes yesterday morning, it was still too early to take my breakfast. So I went instead to a nearby outlet of Chowking for lomi. As usual, I presented to the cashier my driver’s license issued by the Land Transportation Office to entitle me to a 20-percent discount as a senior citizen.
The cashier asked me for my senior citizen ID, apparently referring to the ID issued by the mayor’s office of Santa Rosa City where I live. I politely told her that my driver’s license should be enough proof of my being 68 years old. I also reminded her that aside from senior citizen IDs, restaurants and other business establishments that give 20-percent discount on the prices of their merchandise should also accept other government-issued IDs as long as these show the holders’ age.
Because I found it useless to argue with the Chowking employee, I went home where my usual breakfast was waiting for me on the table.
Why do I have to tell this sad experience? Whether the food outlet’s branch at Paseo de Santa Rosa at Santa Rosa City is a franchise or owned by Jollibee does not matter. What is more important is for Chowking to educate its employees not only on courtesy but also on the senior citizens’ 20-percent discount and on the IDs that should entitle them to this privilege.
Besides, I may not be the only one who has been refused the 20-percent discount not only by Chowking but other restaurants as well. There may also be many others who have had the same experience because they had to deal with misinformed cashiers who had not been fully educated by their employers on the senior citizens’ 20-percent discount. It may be time for the government to do something about this violation.
IT seems that Kim Henares, the chief tax collector of the Aquino administration, knows how to compute the correct taxes of suspected tax evaders. She made public her tax collection formula when she recited the years when Janette Lim Napoles and her husband filed income tax returns. She felt disappointed when the couple failed to pay the correct their income for certain taxable years.
How Henares and her tax examiners arrived at their conclusions in going after the Napoles couple and their daughter is not difficult. They simply reviewed their tax filings and concluded that the Napoleses and their daughter owed the Bureau of Internal Revenue P61 million and P32 million, respectively.
I am repeating what has all been reported by the media because Henares is not going after ALL tax evaders. She is being selective in her efforts to go after tax cheats and tax avoiders. Judging from her media blitz, she is engaged in selective application of the tax laws by singling out the Napoleses. At least this is what I think she has been doing as the government’s chief tax collector.
To preclude any suspicion that Henares is applying tax laws only to a very few, she should make a public disclosure of ALL delinquent tax payers and the amounts of taxes she has collected from them. For instance, she should tell us whatever happened to the P1.56 billion that Golden Donuts Inc. still owed BIR for taxable year 2007, according to Othello Dalanon, a BIR former tax examiner.
Dalano has resigned from the BIR apparently disgusted over Henares’ failure and refusal to collect the donut seller’s tax deficiency.
Still on the BIR, Henares should keep her people busy by reminding them that they are being paid with taxpayers’ money. I happened to visit the agency’s office along Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong City and was frustrated by what I saw and experienced. At 10 in the morning, the six counters that were supposed to serve the public were still vacant, meaning no one was manning any of them. As a taxpayer, I was curious to know, after two hours of waiting, why I had yet to be served. So I asked one employee what time she and her fellow public servants would start working. I was told to wait for my number to be called. I was holding card No. 11.
Patiently, I waited. But to my surprise, if not disgust, newcomers who did not even get their numbers overtook me. To avoid arguing with the BIR people, I controlled my anger over other people’s lack of courtesy but tolerated by BIR insiders who could be very friendly with certain taxpayers. I was happy to have finished transacting with BIR-Mandaluyong at 11a.m.