Only Tax Payers Should Be Allowed to Vote

Miriam: Only Tax Payers should be allowed to Vote

                “If a person is a borderline moron, why should his vote equal the vote of a college graduate?”

                                                                                          -Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago

                We all know Sen. Miriam to be the toughest chic in the senate and let’s face it, she’s among the very few who actually makes sense when she opens her mouth. One of her latest ideas sparked a very active online debate amongst netizens when she said that only tax payers should be allowed to vote. There are those who agree while some think it’s a very elitist move.

                The Filipino people are mostly composed of the urban poor. By urban poor I mean people who only eat adequate times a day, mostly just two, people who are living in slum areas and with little to no education at all. In her speech at the Far Eastern University’s Central Student Organization series back in 2012, Sen. Miriam emphasized the importance of being an educated voter. “But in our country, the masses tend to vote for the people whom they most often see either in movies or on TV.  They apply only a visual test to candidates.  If the candidate often plays the role of champion of the poor, then the uneducated poor will vote him to office for this reason only.  Thus, they are voting for actors.  Accordingly, when some of these TV and film personalities win in the elections, they continue their acting in the legislature.” She said in her speech.

                We can all attest to the kind of education we have here in the Philippines and sometimes, I cannot help but think that the government is doing so little about our severe educational problems intentionally  to keep us all stupid and ignorant during the elections. I agree with what the senator said because if you’re uneducated, then you definitely don’t know any better than to vote for the handsome actor or even get involved in vote buying just so you can feed your family. The fact that so many Filipinos do that is appalling because they do not know its long term implications towards the future of this nation and their children.

            Under Article IV, Sec 1 of the Philippine Constitution: Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage. Now, Sen. Miriam says this is not applicable in the 21st century and therefore should be amended. She proposes to change the charter so only tax payers can vote since the non-tax payers belongs to the poorest of poor, they are most likely to accept money from politicians. “Kasi kung hindisiya nagbabayad ng tax, mahirap na mahirap siya. Maski sino na lang, basta bigyan siya ng pera, kahit bigyan mo ng konti, that is patronage politics. The taxpayers are being ruled by the choice of the non-taxpayers.” The senator said.

                While many people claim that this idea has a lot of loopholes, (for example, if only income-tax payers are allowed to vote, what about those who pay the Value-Added Tax, which is everyone?) One cannot say that it doesn’t make sense because it does. As a tax payer, of course, you will care about where your hard earned contribution is going to or if it falls to the hands of righteous people. So with that, you will care to analyze and scrutinize each candidate and vote for the best ones, not just those with the most fans or with the most outrageous campaign. You will think for yourself and your country because you know exactly what is at stake.

                However, since there’s the VAT-tax payer’s problem, the only solution we can do to stop ignorant votes from running the country is to fix our educational system. Let’s do what other European countries do and put everything we have on education. Pay our teachers well, build more schools and teach more useful lessons instead of filling students’ head with useless information. Let’s add a bit of political awareness to the curriculum too so we can produce more intelligent voters who actually care about their country. I am not aiming to belittle the urban poor and the uneducated, I’m just merely stating the fact that most of us don’t really know who they’re voting for and what’s worse is they compose the majority.

                This idea by Sen. Miriam might just save us another decade of idleness, massive inflation and socioeconomic problems if it’s implemented correctly. If we stop denying the fact that the Philippine population is mostly composed of people who couldn’t care less about the names they write on their ballots as long as they get money from it; and actually do something about that problem instead, we might have a chance of experiencing a better Philippines in this lifetime.


17 thoughts on “Miriam: Only Tax Payers should be allowed to Vote

  1. That is the most anti-poor suggestion I’ve ever heard. Not all poor people can be bought. And not all poor people are dumb and all people here in the Philippines are paying taxes, the food we eat, the clothes, the things for everyday use. When you buy them you already paying taxes.

    • not all but a majority of them, pls dont think of it as an insult, think of the benefits if only we put the right people in power. in the end, it will be beneficial to those poor people if only the right ones get seated.

  2. I totally disagree to Sen. Miriam’s idea about the right to suffrage that only taxpayers should vote because almost everyone is a tax payer. Those who buys goods in the stores are tax payers also. My suggestion is that an election law be passed giving the right of suffrage only to those college graduates and educated individuals to expedite election process; and the right to run as qualified candidates for government office whether local or national must have completed a Political Science or any related courses to insure that they know what their jobs are when they are elected to a particular political office. By this, those elected officials will be able to render a good service to the people because they know what they are doing. Another advantage of this is that the registered voters will be limited and therefore counting of votes are going to be done easily. Both voting and government leadership requires a wise decision, and only wise persons are capable of making wise decisions. Wisdom comes from good education. If you want to be part of an election process and be qualified to run as candidate for government office, then educate yourself first!

    • any special law created for that purpose will be attacked as unconstitutional, the qualifications to run as prexy, vp, members of congress do not even require that the candidate be a college grad as long as they’re able to read and write. the same goes if ever a law is enacted specifying who can vote, it will be a complete violation of the constitution, not unless congress amends it first (which i highly doubt) only then can her suggestion and your suggestion be implemented. the only way to go about this is to really to educate the people.

  3. My point si Miriam dahil halos wala rin naman nangyayari kung bumoto lahat ng sambayanan, sa totoosin pa nga mas nagakaroon pa ng dayaan eh nandiyan yung pasikretong abutan!
    ibig sabihin may abot kamay na sa pera hahahaha… tama yan miriam mas maganda pa na ang mga bumuboto ay yung mga edukada’t edukadong tao para walang daya at mas mapipili kung sino ang tunay na mananalo.

  4. So Government must help the poorest people!! The government should prioritize local job creation so that the poor and unemployed can have their dignity back instead of cash transfers and pork barrels which makes the poor dependent on hand outs.
    Once they have jobs they can pay income tax. No need to exclude them from the voting process.

  5. Let the tax payers decide who to put in office. After all it is the taxes they paid that makes the government run. ITR should make a requirement for voting.It is not taking the poor ability to vote,
    as long as they are productive and pay income tax,
    they can vote. Ganyan ba gusto ninyo??!

  6. uhmmm… wt if…only those who pay THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TAX should be allowed to vote..

    Above was the first comment i made before I actually had a time to view the article. Ideas that were pointed out are really great taking into account different aspects in life, existing laws etc. but looking into all of it… it will boil down in the main reason of all things… and that is how hard and how poor most every Filipinos.
    in one point, it was said that right of suffrage is one of the means for the poor people to participate in the so called demoCRAZY and to prove that… like the present President usually say, that they are “the boss” in this government.
    Its a good thing, and I believed that those who drafted our laws meant good for everyone ( I supposed), but we cannot just remove a right from anyone, because if we allow that to happen, then maybe we are opening a window for those who are in power to remove other rights that we have.
    it is already pointed out, and mostly wanted to remove the right to vote from those some who thinks does not have the capacity to make a right choice, but how sure are we that those we are considering educated people have made a right choice? Well in fact, most of them are the one using the weakness of these people.
    If we think that the reason why we should not allow to vote our fellowmen who were not that fortunate enough to go to school or have a good education is because they lack capacity to make good choice, then why not our government make a move to make those people educated enough not only for purposes of them having a good choice in selecting their leaders but for them to at least have a better opportunity in life.
    On the issue of letting the taxpayer choose their leader, there is no problem with that, after all they are one big reason why the government exist. But we should also remember that there is a qualification needed to be clarified. All of those who leave and sojourn in the Philippines are tax payers one with the exception of course those who violate it. But like one of the earlier comment… we do pay taxes every time we buy something, so technically speaking, even if they are not a citizen, they are paying taxes.

    There are a lot of things/ideas that are going through my mind but for now let me end by saying that “being poor is not a reason enough for one to remove a right to anyone, it is a good thing that we were able to point out that there is a problem in our society that is needed to be address, and as a concern citizen… let’s help in making solution and not another oppression”.

    • Rights are actually acquired, it is not freely given to anyone. For example, buying a product is everyone’s right but not everyone can buy a certain product. The one who can buy a product are those who have money, so those who don’t have money can’t use the right to buy the product. They need to acquire money first to use that right. The same with the laws of the land. Nobody can take our rights from us, we only lose it because of our negligence and ignorance.

      • rights are inherent… what you probably want to point out is privilege. right of suffrage is actually not a right per se but a mere privilege as decided by the SC. in a certain case, the highest court said that right of suffrage is a mere privilege and can be remove from someone who does not fit to qualify

  7. This must be discrimination! We are in a democratic country, lahat tayo ay may karapatang bomoto kung sino ang mga taong mauupo at mamumuno sa ating bansa. Kung ang mga mayayaman ba at ang mga edukadong tao ang may karapatan lang na bumoto, sigurado ba na ang mga iboboto nila ay hindi kurakot??!! Natatakot sila kase si Napoles e mahirap lang nuon pero napaikot nya ang mga malalaking tao na nasa gobyerno natin ngayon!!!

  8. agree @ dis agree!
    May Mata at may Mali

    tama yung sinasabi sen.miriam n only tax payer nlng ang boboto!

    Mali, kc paano nman yung mga simple tao o simpleng mgsasaka? My mga naambag din cla.

    Hndi nman lahat ay may iisang pag iisip. Ang iba ay may sariling maninidigan at dignidad kung sino dpat nilang iboto s election?

    Sa palagay nyo b papayag ang lahat? S gsto ni mam’sen.miriam. Hehe noseblid s gramar. Tag nlng.

  9. I don’t see anything wrong if she wants to prioritize the tax payer’s vote, maybe she has a point but she needs to remind herself that we are living in a democratic country, which means every citizen should have the right to vote and everyone should treated equally. Wag sana nyang ipasa sa mamamayang pilipinno ang pagkukulang ng mga nakaupo sa Gobyerno. Sa kanya na Mismo galing na “The Higher the position, the higher the mental sickness.” .

  10. tama dapat lng yung mga nagbabayad nb buwis lng ang dapat bumoto sa kc pera naman nila ang ginagamit sa pag papa sweldo s kanlia.pero wla nmn sila gngawa na maganda sa ating bayan…

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