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TEXT TAX OPPOSITION

Virtually every nation is operating at a deficit these days. Every government is trying to find new sources of income in these tough times, but our nation may be thefirst place to turn to text messaging.
Cebu City Councilor Sylvan, Chairman of the Committee on Communication of the Cebu City Council is in opposition to the national government's plan.
"I think people have been taxed enough. I don't think we should allow the increase of taxes for text messaging because it's already so much on the part of the Filipinos," he said.
Jakosalem pointed out the importance of short messaging service (SMS) in communication. "What they should tax on are those for cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and other items that Filipinos don't really need", he reacted.
The Philippines has an estimated 28 million mobile phone subscribers, and industry estimates said they expect half of the 84 million populations to own a handset by the end of next year. With 120 to 150 million messages crossing mobile phone networks daily, the Philippines has been tagged as the “text capital” of the world.
Since Telecommunications companies receive huge profits with SMS and was among the eight tax measures President Gloria Arroyo asked Congress to pass last month to help narrow the deficit, which in thefirst half reached 80.1 billion pesos (1.43 billion dollars), exceeding a government-set ceiling.
Speaker Jose de Venecia has announced that Congress will only increase the franchise taxes imposed to telecommunications companies instead of imposing additional to SMS.
But Councilor Jackosalem said that the companies were not sure to increase the price of texting when higher price will imposed to them and assured that franchise tax will not be passed to mobile subcribers.
Association of Concerned Texters (ACT), a consumer group led a text campaign in Cebu to denounce to tax mobile phone text messaging or SMS.
ACT in print some n…

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