25.3.06

SOMETHING FOR EVERY FILIPINO

THERE'S a booklet making the rounds in Metro Manilathat every Filipino who loves his country should gethold of and read, and hopefully put the points itraises into practice, in order to help our nation...

"Twelve (12) Little Things Every Filipino Can Do ToHelp Our Country," by Alexander Ledesma Lacson, may bea "voice in the wilderness"; but as Fr. Ruben Tanseco,S.J. puts it, what Alex proposes are "very concrete,practical and doable" actions for us ordinaryFilipinos

1. Follow traffic rules. -- Why is that the mostimportant? The answer is simple. Traffic rules are thesimplest of our laws. If we learn to follow them, itwill be the lowest form of national discipline that wecan develop. Since it is totally without monetarycost, it should be easy for us to comply with, andtherefore should provide a good start.

2. Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always askfor an official receipt. -- If a seller does not issuean official receipt when you buy a product, the sellermay or may not remit the tax to the government.Without an O.R., there is no record of the saletransaction, and the tax that you paid may not beremitted to the BIR.

3. Do not buy smuggled goods. Buy local, buy Filipino. -- It may not be good economics to buy 100%local products. What I suggest is for us to take a"50-50" buying attitude. This means that we mustdevelop the attitude of using 50% of our budget forlocal products and the other 50% for imported choices.

4. When you talk to others, especially foreigners,speak positively of our race and our country. -- thisis best addressed to the rich and the middle class inour country, who have contact with the outside world.It is they who talk to, dine or deal with foreignerseither here or abroad. It is what they say and dowhich creates impressions about us among foreigners.

5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman, soldierand other public servants. -- There is nothing likethe power of respect. It makes a person proud. Itmakes one feel honorable. At the same time, courtesyto others is good manners. It is class and eleganceand kindness. It is seeing the value and dignity inthe other man. It is, in fact, a mark of a mostprofound education.

6. Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle. Conserve. -- As Louis Armstrongsays in his song: "I see trees of green, red roses,too, I see them bloom for me and you and I think tomyself, what a wonderful world."

7. Support your church. (or charitable/ civicorganizations -- :-)

8. During elections, do your solemn duty. -- Honesty,more than a masteral or doctorate degree, is whatgives credibility. And credibility is essentialbecause it is a leader's link to the people. It iswhat makes the people look to one direction, follow acommon vision, and perform a uniform act. In short,credibility is what makes people follow the leader.

9. Pay your employees well. -- No exercise is betterfor the human heart than to reach down and liftsomeone else up. This truly defines a successful life.For success is the sum, not of our earthlypossessions, but of how many times we have shown loveand kindness to others.

10. Pay your taxes. -- In 2003, P83 billion wascollected from individual income taxes. But 91% ofthis amount came from salaried workers from thegovernment and private sector, people who had nochoice since their income taxes were withheldmandatorily. Only P7 billion of the P83 billion camefrom businessmen and professionals like doctors,lawyers, accountants and architects, among others.

11. Adopt a scholar or adopt a poor child. -- You canmake a difference in the future of our country bymaking a difference in the world of children.

12. Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow thelaw and to love our country. -- Today's children willsomeday rule and lead this world. But whether theywill be bad rulers or good leaders will depend largelyon how we raise them today. Our future is in thehearts and minds of our children.

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