A press release from TXTPower, of which this blogger is a member:

Consumer group TXTPower today rejected the proposed 20-centavo text tax pushed by Senator Richard J. Gordon and Speaker Prospero Nograles and supported by Malacanang, calling the proposal “an insult to the intelligence of the people and a slap in the face of people in the midst of crisis.”

“All calls and text messages are already charged 12 percent VAT. Overseas calls are also slapped an overseas communications tax. If we have ‘double-insertion’ in projects, this Gordon-Nograles-Arroyo tax is ‘double taxation’,” said TXTPower president Anthony Ian Cruz.

“If the Gordon-Nograles-Arroyo really want to raise the budget for education and health, they could do so by allocating appropriate amounts in the national budget. But they don’t. They want to pay fraudulent foreign debt, engage in unproductive expenditures and let corrupt people remain in government,” said Cruz.

TXTPower is advocating the reduction of foreign debt payments and rechanneling the amount to social services such as health and education.

The group is also pushing for increased tax collection and the firing of corrupt revenue and customs officials.

“Gordon should oppose the plan to build a new Senate building and instead allocate the money for schoolbuildings. The pork barrel of all legislators should be reduced by half and all proceeds should go to improving hospitals in the local levels,” said Cruz.

International studies claim that 20 percent of the annual Philippine budget go to waste due to corruption.