December 8, 2023

As the worn-out adage goes, “The only sure things in life are death and taxes.” Sounds ominous but very true, indeed. Taxes are the lifeblood of a nation’s economy just like blood is to a vampire (or a blood-sucking politician). Besides, what good are grandiose plans, projects or programs without the money to fund them?
Whether our government is efficient and effective in the collection of taxes without fear or favor is anybody’s guess. Whether everyone is honest in the payment of their taxes is between them and their conscience, if they have any. To paraphrase a familiar warning in many of our public utility jeepneys: Only God and Santa Claus know who does (Hudas) not pay.
The long lines of people at City Hall these days signal the payment of various taxes and fees that usually lasts until March or whereabouts. As a taxpayer, it is only normal and right that we expect our hard-earned money go to where they are supposed to, that is, to the funding of projects, programs, and services that will redound to the public’s benefit.
Through the years, this near-sighted Ibaloy writer was able to talk with friends, relatives, and acquaintances who are based in other countries that have very high tax rates. Despite this, most do not complain because they see where their taxes are going in terms of good infrastructure; no blackouts; quality service; hot and cold water; public Wi-Fi; and the list goes on.
Whether we can say the same for our beloved country is again anybody’s guess. However, as upright citizens, it is our responsibility to pay our taxes. As Jesus once said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

Belated birthday greetings to my dear mother, Dr. Emma Baban Keith, who turned a vibrant and lovely 77 earlier this month. Same goes go to my ading Dr. Ianna Keith-Regalado, her husband Dr. Edmun and their son Henrick, who all blew extra candles recently. Cheers!

Here’s “The Bacchic Song” by Alexander Pushkin: “Why hushed you, O, gaiety’s voice?/ Resound, the hymns of the Bacchus!/ Long live they, who ever had loved us –/ The beautiful women and sweet, gentle girls!/ Let glasses be full with wines’ gold!/ To bottom, that rings,/ The sacred gold rings/ Let fall through the wine, sweet and cold./ Raise higher your glasses and move them right now!/ Long live airy muses, and brightness of brow!/ You, hallowed sun, flare on!/ Like this icon-lamp is a-paling/ In light of the growing dawn,/ So all false sagacity’s dimming and failing/ By great endless sun of the mind./ Long live holy sun, and let dark die behind.”

We’re on air Wednesdays, 8 a.m., over K-Lite 96.7 FM, with Fiona Quinn and every last Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m. for “City Hall Hour” over SkyCable, DZEQ RadyoPilipinas, and Big FM.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.