SWS: 4 of 10 Filipinos doubt China’s intention towards PH

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2019   •   2040

FILE PHOTO: A child holds national flags of China and the Philippines before President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and China’s President Xi Jinping attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

MANILA, Philippines – A recent survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed that 4 out of 10 Filipinos do not believe that China’s intention towards the Philippines is beneficial to Filipinos.

The survey, fielded in December 2018 among 1,440 respondents, found that 44 percent of Filipino adults disagreed with the statement: “Most of what the Chinese government wants to happen in the Philippines is good for the Filipinos.”

22 percent said they strongly agree with the statement while 29 percent “somewhat disagreed,” the SWS survey findings stated.

The survey results were released amid reports about the influx of Chinese workers in the Philippines, loan deals between the Manila and Beijing and the long-standing dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

Malacañang on Monday slammed the recent SWS survey, branding it as “political propaganda” employed by the Duterte administration’s ardent critics and detractors.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo expressed hope that more Filipinos would appreciate the relation between the Philippines and China once they see its positive effects on the economy.

Panelo also added that Filipinos must understand that the government’s move to diversify the country’s allies is intended for the sole benefit of the Filipino people and not for any foreign race.   

“We are seeing that there would be a change of hearts and minds from those undecided and even those who disagree—whom we believe are used to the United States as our long-standing ally—once our enhanced ties with China start to yield positive economic results,” Panelo said in a statement.

In line with SWS recent survey, the UNTV News and Rescue went around to ask some Filipinos about their thoughts on whether China’s intentions are good for the Philippines.

Of the 10 individuals interviewed on the street by the UNTV news team, 8 have expressed doubt about the warming ties between Manila and Beijing.

Most of the interviewees expressed fear that China will invade the Philippines, in reference to reports about Chinese vessels that “swarmed” near disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea, bullying local fishermen against entering the resource-rich lagoons.

The other two expressed neutrality on the issue, saying China has helped the country in some ways such as trading, investments and financing some of the government’s infrastructure projects.

Professor Jay Batongbacal, Director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, offered his view on why some Filipinos continue to distrust China despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s high praises for his newfound ally.

“China had a huge trust deficit to begin with, ever since. Recent controversies have probably magnified that lack of trust and fuels suspicions about China’s intentions despite its constant attempts to portray then as otherwise,” he said.

“Government’s tendency to bend over in defending China aggravates the distrust and suspicion even more,” he added.

Duterte has recently told China to back off from Pag-asa Island and vowed to never allow China to occupy the island long-held by the Philippines.

READ: Duterte tells China: Back off from Pag-asa island

Duterte’s rare remark against Beijing came after the Philippine military warned that hundreds of Chinese vessels were spotted in the disputed waterway in the first quarter of 2019.

The President, however, assured he is prepared to reach for a compromise with China and that there is no need for the Philippines to use force against its more powerful neighbor. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

Pro and anti-Beijing supporters face off at shopping mall

Jeck Deocampo   •   September 13, 2019

Pro-Beijing supporters flooded into a Hong Kong shopping mall waving China flags and singing the Chinese national anthem on Friday (September 13) where they were confronted by with anti-Beijing groups.

The confrontation came hours before a city-wide Mid-Autumn festival celebration where demonstrators are set to carry lanterns and form human chains on the scenic Victoria Peak, an area popular with mainland Chinese tour groups. The human chain is also due to be formed on Lion Rock which separates the New Territories from the Kowloon peninsula.

The anti-China demonstrations started in June in response to a bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial in Communist Party-controlled courts, but have broadened into calls for democracy.

China says Hong Kong is now its internal affair. It denies meddling in Hong Kong and has accused the United States, Britain and others of fomenting the unrest.

Britain says it has a legal responsibility to ensure China abides by its obligations under the Joint Declaration. (REUTERS)

Duterte pitches for gross taxation to address corruption in gov’t

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing for the use of gross taxation system over net tax collection in a bid to eliminate corruption in the government.

Duterte floated the idea on Thursday, saying the adoption of gross taxation system would significantly reduce corruption, starting in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The president previously made mention of this proposal during a media interview in Malacañang on Tuesday.

“Pag gross, wala na. ‘Yang mga examiner, wala nang trabaho ‘yan. Dito ka sa neto eh kasi may mga ano, bayaran, exemption ganun,” he said.

“Kung sinsero talaga kayo and you are on my side to stop corruption, if media would really help government and the Filipino people, all you have to do — tayong lahat, we agitate Congress, gross na tayo,” he added.

The president, however, did not elaborate on how the suggestion will be implemented.

Gross income tax is a tax assessed against the money somebody earns and is applicable to income from a job, as well as to funds that are set aside in an estate or trust.

While net taxes, are levied on production less subsidies received. It also paid to the government less transfer payments.

Net taxes are a simple version of a checkbook balance for governments as they measure the inflows and outflows of the state’s tax activities.

Duterte said that the need for examiners will be eliminated if the computation system of corporate taxes will be changed.

“I guarantee you, ‘pag pumunta tayo ng gross, wala ng examiner, wala ng deduction then they do not haggle for anything. ‘Pag nandiyan na ‘yung resibo, ‘yan na ‘yun,” he said.

The chief executive said this form of tax is already being used in foreign countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.

In response to Duterte’s suggestion, the Department of Finance (DOF) said it will look into shifting to gross taxation.

Aside from adopting new system of taxation, the president earlier suggested the removal of brokers in the Bureau of Customs to curb corruption.

Duterte monitoring 100 more Customs execs linked to corruption

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is monitoring 100 more Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials allegedly involved in corruption within the agency.

In a speech during the launching of Bataan government center and Business in Balanga town on Thursday, Duterte said he received a list of 164 BOC executives purportedly engaging in corrupt practices.

The president then quoted a former Customs’ employee who said that removing these officials would rid the agency of corruption.

“At itong Customs, I was given a list of 164. They have been there already for 38 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years,” he said.

“Sabi nung taong ma-acquit sana, an ex-employee of — sa Customs, ‘itong mga tao na ito, ‘Mayor, kung matanggal mo ito, mawawala ang corruption sa gobyerno,’” he added.

“In the meantime that I am investigating the 64, I think they were already suspended by the Ombudsman, I’m still trying to look for these 100 idiots, these sons of a b****,” the president further stated.

Sixty-four of these officials have already been placed on floating status in July and are facing administrative and criminal charges for unlawful activities.

READ: Duterte orders freezing of several Customs officials, employees

Duterte earlier suggested the removal of brokers and examiners at the Customs bureau to significantly reduce corruption in the agency.

He also suggested that instead of brokers, the BOC may be allowed to accredit or designate individuals or companies to arrange their shipment.

READ: Duterte wants brokers, examiners removed from PH Customs

Following Duterte’s proposal, BOC executives met on Wednesday (Sept.11) but have yet to release any information on their discussion on a new system seeking to eliminate the use of brokers in the processing of shipments in the port area. RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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