Teacher's group defends doctors amid outcry over BIR ad

Posted at 03/05/2014 3:01 PM

MANILA - Doctors have found allies in teachers amid a controversial ad on tax dodging by doctors published recently by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

In a statement, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) said the ad is unfair.

“An erring doctor is not a reflection of the medical profession, in the same case as an erring teacher or an erring soldier; bad members who comprise very little portion of the organization do not represent the institution,” TDC national chairperson Benjo Basas said.

He said that along with teachers, being a doctor “is one of the noblest and selfless professions.”

He said the problem of tax evasion is a reflection of the the BIR’s inefficient tax collection system.

The group appreciated, however, the BIR’s portrayal of teachers.

The controversial ad shows a doctor perched on the shoulders of a grade school teacher. Its caption says: “when you don’t pay your taxes, you’re a burden to those who do. Do your share. knowyourtaxes.ph.”

Basas challenged BIR to run after the big time tax evaders, the big businessmen and the bosses of government corporations who receive fat bonuses. This would be more consistent with the advertisement, he said.

“If the government is convinced that we teachers are heroes, then we deserved tax incentives, at least. We are at the bottom of income scale, along with other employees and workers, yet the government is dependent upon our taxes.” Basas said. “Once and for all, the system of taxation should be revised to collect more from the rich.”

He also said the group supports legislative proposals intended to grant tax exemptions or reduction for teachers and other employees especially from their supposed bonuses.

“The only apprehension of the taxpayers is that this hard-earned money only goes to the pockets of the thieves in government. The government must be stricter and show that it can put the plunderers behind bars.” Basas said.