As COVID-19 strikes along the way, affecting the below par, joint struggles are at play to create a one paramount dilemma –poverty. To take off, we think of feasible course of actions that would elude ourselves from the boiling pot of deprivation. However, evaporation fails to come off as the heat goes down and down, leaving us into submerging.

The Good

As COVID-19 threats every possible living, one of the protocols the government is strictly imposing is the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). This requires people to stay at home and restricts people from going out except for necessity, work, and health circumstances as a response to a rapidly growing number of positive cases in the country.

For almost four months since the total lockdown, workplace for some are still banned for operations. Thus, people decided to procreate something which helps them survive despite the inconsistency of the financial aids and all.

Quaranthings have been introduced which connotes the things occurred during the quarantine period. A variety of these things were put up out of boredom for some, but out of necessity for majority. These include doing tiktok, home workout, cooking, binge on Netflix, DIY haircut, home services, and the massive hits online selling, vlogging/blogging, and cycling as a way of exercise or mode of transportation.

The Bad

As majority relies heavily on these quaranthings, the government sees that it paints bandwagon effects as these became swift trends online. Thus, the government makes sure to put barricades in every way possible, imposing taxes where no one could ever possibly think of before quarantine period.

Last June 11, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reminds the online sellers to register their businesses on or before July 31 to pay their taxes including their past sales. However, those of which abruptly booming are small or part-time businesses, earning small-scale profit barely makes their everyday needs.

Additionally, BIR also sees the need to get additional tax revenues from digital economy –Facebook ads, Netflix, Google, bloggers, and YouTubers. This is to finance the programs used in combatting the pandemic crisis. However, as the Philippine economy dried up for the first time in more than two decades, the government borrowed funds from World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and Asian Development Bank (ADB) –to name a few. These loans left Filipinos into worrying as the public debt is certainly at its peak while continuously dehydrating the digital economy.

As public transportations are limited due to jeepney phase-out, bicycle lane has been established to give way to those who don’t have private vehicles. However, BIR also eyes for prompted calls of registration program for bicycles. Seemingly, BIR tends to forget that bicycles are being introduced due to incapacity to have private vehicles which cost more than any poor life. And yet, they still manage to think of a registration fee amidst poverty-stricken condition.

As we confront the burden of the virus through these avenues, the government still robbed us every detailed way of making it a survivable country. There are plenty of issues that need to be addressed, however, they are consistently solving the wrong problems.

The Criticisms

I, myself enjoy quaranthings as my personal getaway from the substandard happenings and my means of combatting every nuisance I encounter during this pandemic. Of all the quaranthings I perfectly achieved, my prime favorite is to criticize the events hitting our system –pros or cons.

Being “walang pake” in this failed system manifests a great achievement of neglecting your commitment to being a Filipino. As being a Filipino comes with a voice of your choice, whether pro or against. Still, you have the voice that criticize and a choice that lies within you.

Thus, criticism is part of us. As to criticize is to be a keen observer; to criticize is to get involved with the current social issues; to criticize is to be the voice of the underprivileged and marginalized; to criticize is to protect every right we have from oppression; and mostly, to criticize is free from taxes, truth is the only investment. And you, how do you criticize?

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