Talent and Courage

Opinions Unlimited

by Atty. Tony(APA) Acyatan (Atty. APA – chairman of Acyatan & Co., CPAs-DFK International is PICPA past national president and Accountancy Hall-of-Famer, and past chairman of ASEAN Federation of CPAs).

TRUTH ADVOCATES:  Under the new Administration, there are emerging – erstwhile unsung – heroes.  These are Filipino men and women risking their lives (families, professions and properties) so that people in government would henceforth walk the straight path.  They are “whistle-blowing” multi-billion graft  perpetrated by unscrupulous public servants – usually in cahoots with or tolerated by auditors (COA).

This column salutes the diminutive COA auditor who braved untold risks to herself as she exposed the financial anomalies within the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  In the middle of the investigation (by the Ombudsman), she was allegedly “dropped” by her COA superiors – advising her to turn over to her bosses the audit files and records which she examined.  These instructions seem to indicate that COA men are also “on the take” or were instructed by somebody up there to handle the cover-up!

CPA MENDOZA:  The new Filipino heroine is Heidi Lloce-Mendoza who hails from Tayabas, Quezon – an alumnae of the Sacred Heart College in Lucena City.  She is a fellow CPA and new member of the PICPA Chapter which nominated me as national president in 1990 and to the 2007 PICPA Accountancy Hall of Fame.  Just last Friday – our chapter resolved to organize the PICPA-QUEZON for HEIDI MENDOZA Movement in support of her anti-graft ideals.

We are also securing appropriate resolution from the QUEZON MEDALYA NG KARANGALAN FOUNDATION (members are awardees during Quezon Anniversary Rites).  As Charter Chairman-President of the Foundation, we will nominate Heidi for the “Medalya”.  Further – our Foundation will spearhead the “QUEZONIANS FOR HEIDI MENDOZA”.  Without public support – her “exposes” will be in vain; with popular backing, her courage will bring positive reformation!

HARVESTS: Agricultural crops are normally harvested on seasonal basis.  For example – citrus fruits are in marketplaces – selling literally “for a song”.  The same thing is happening to bountiful crops of tomatoes and other vegetable crops – thanks to the wonderful weather given to us by God.  Sugar canes are also being harvested now – and officials say the sweet commodity will soon be sold at lower prices.

It is nice for consumers to have ample farm products in the markets.  But if the prices become overly low (at times less than the farmers’ production costs) the farmers may decide to just stop working their farms. Our government should look at their plight.  The elimination of the “greedy” middlemen is appropriate through the provincial “bagsakan” centers.  Processing of seasonal excess harvests must also be done, to  insure continuing supply (and controlled prices) and assure farmers of regular demand for their products.

REALTY TAXES:  Property owners will doubly benefit by paying their realty taxes early – during the first quarter of each year.  Firstly – the big rates of penalties (for late payment) could be avoided, and secondly – the early payers will be granted discounts (usually 10%).  Since interests on bank deposits are as low as 1% per annum, it is financially favorable to just use the funds in settling realty tax assessments.

We must know the payment deadlines and “costs” imposed on late tax payments.  Taxes for transfers (sales, donations) of properties are due within 30 days from documentation.  Documentary stamp taxes thereon are due  within the first five (5) days of the month following date of transaction.  Late payments are subject to one-time surcharge of 25% (even for just one day tardiness) plus interest at 20% per annum for the period of delay.  As “payment” for the criminal liability, the Compromise Penalty is assessed.

PRAYER:  God gifted us with Time, Talent and Treasures.  Let’s use them to aid others in our Lord’s glory.

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