Don’t Tax My Beauty!

I’ve always done my best to steer clear of anything even remotely political. It’s just not my bag. People can go lecture me about how apathetic I am but we can’t all be activists, can we? I will most probably NEVER do something like join a rally or campaign for anyone in this lifetime. But something in the news the last couple of days has successfully elicited a reaction from me. I feel so strongly about it that I just had to blog about it.

Don't Tax My BeautyAnyhow, news broke out 2 days ago that some congressman, specifically Ako Bicol Party List Rep. Rodel Batocabe, wants to implement what he calls a Vanity Tax. He has proposed proposed a 10% to 30% excise tax on cosmetic products and beauty services. He said it’s a better alternative to imposing additional excise tax on fuel products. “Kung talagang mabigat na ‘wag ka na mag-makeup, mabubuhay ka naman,” Batocabe said. He claims that only wealthy people will be affected by the vanity tax he wants to impose.

  • What about people like salesladies, bank tellers, receptionists, flight attendants, and most people who are in the service industry? Then there are those in the entertainment industry — not necessarily A-list celebrities with cash to burn. They are ALL REQUIRED to wear makeup on the job. I doubt that the average SM saleslady is part of the elite he claims this tax will affect.
  • Is he saying that poor people don’t want to look good? If he thinks those in the lower economic sectors don’t care about their looks, he obviously hasn’t done his research. Cheap local brands like Ever Bilena, Nichido, Careline, and San San continue to exist not because of the rich people. What’s more, these brands have actually contributed to the greater good by providing jobs for our countrymen.
  • There is talk that celebrities will be exempted from this tax. because it’s their job to look good. Excuse me but WTF they have all the cash to burn plus they actually get paid to use and endorse beauty products.
  • He says he plans to tax even beauty-related services. Does this mean that if have a dermatologist treat me for an acne problem I’ll get taxed for it? Acne is actually a bacteria-induced skin infection but it’s also perceived as a beauty concern… so where will he draw the line?
  • What about things like shampoo and conditioner that are formulated to clean and make your hair look better? Is he going to apply the same logic that we can all live without washing our hair?

When one looks good, one feels good about himself/herself. This is empowerment. I don’t expect someone like Batocabe who is obviously myopic in his world views to understand. But you know it and I know it. People who feel good about themselves tend to perform better and lead happier healthier lives. Why don’t they impose more taxes on the bad things like cigarettes, alcohol, and hell even gambling in all its forms? Better yet, why don’t they tax or penalize delinquent lawmakers for every session missed?

This is probably what we get for voting AKO BICOL party list just because it frickin starts with the letter A. Truth be told, most of us can’t be bothered to actually THINK about who to vote for the party list. It’s a spot in congress that’s not really taken seriously. It’s a POSITION nonetheless, so come election time all sorts of strange party lists from All Fish to Abante Retirees multiply like mushrooms to vie for that spot. Why do we even have to vote for a party list which just paves the way for more nonsense? Do we really need more congressmen? We have so many already and we are not even close to solving daily problems like traffic and pollution.

I am protesting this so-called vanity tax. It’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever encountered. This kind of twisted reasoning can only come from a misogynist with a lot of idle time in his hands. Instead of addressing more pressing concerns like the worsening traffic problem or the rampant killings, they’d rather focus on aesthetic services and makeup??? People who can will just buy their beauty stuff from abroad. If this pushes through, guess who will be burdened with this the most? Certainly NOT the people with money.

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  • Reply May Palacpac January 12, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Ugh, they impose taxes on anything they think of…or would come up with some bill that makes no sense. For instance, some young congressman filed a bill to cancel VAT exemption of seniors, what on earth?!?!?!

    I thought the same thing about the sales ladies. They are required to put on makeup which they have to buy out of their meager salaries.

    • Reply animetric January 12, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      Ang dapat singilin nila eh yun mga delinquent na lawmakers na di sumisipot sa mga sessions!

  • Reply Sumi Go January 12, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    I feel you! I’m quite apathetic too when it comes to politics, but this is just too stupid! They should just impose additional sin tax, as well on vehicle (sedan, suv, etc.) purchases. It’s so easy to buy a new car nowadays. Making it a little more inconvenient can somehow help with traffic (though improving public transpo, parking/garage requirement, and other rules are also needed).

    • Reply animetric January 14, 2017 at 9:19 pm

      I super agree with the parking/garage requirement. A lot of the traffic I encounter is caused by cars parked on the streets — a lot of 2-way streets become 1-way bottlenecks because of these parked cars.

  • Reply Karen January 12, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    I agree 10000% with everything you said. Majority of our politicians are actually stupid and useless and can’t think of a sensible plan to save their lives.

    That’s how we end up with moronic proposals that will make you want to smack some sense into the idiots with a 2×4.

    Also, how do they draw the line between cosmetics and skincare or hygiene products? Sometimes they overlap. Anyway, it’s a very stupid proposal that should be laughed out for sheer idiocy. It’s also gender discrimination. The women in his life should knock some sense into him.

    For some people, makeup is an important necessity for work, social interaction or for their self esteem. It’s not just vanity.

    • Reply animetric January 13, 2017 at 9:53 am

      I know. The person who spearheaded this and the colleagues who support it didn’t bother to look at the bigger picture.

  • Reply cristal January 13, 2017 at 11:01 am

    I agree with you Ms Ro, makeup is used for empowerment, and sometimes for work. I use makeup to look presentable sa office, it’s not just about vanity but it’s a necessity for us women (and sometimes) for men. IDK why they create this provision to tax makeup and other necessities na need naman natin. And also, Meron ngang sin tax to impose taxes on cigarettes and liquors, dapat yun ang taasan nila dahil it’ll affect public health. then aside from this vanity tax, may pinopropose pa na sugar tax (heard it earlier sa radyo) haynako! mga hindi nag-iisip na officials! >_<

  • Reply Jerzee Benavente January 13, 2017 at 11:37 am

    I’ve read about the news. They are crazy! Taxes everywhere! They should dig deeper about the term vanity. Making yourself look presentable ain’t vanity, it’s actually a necessity these days. Argh!

    • Reply animetric January 14, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Dapat lagyan nila yun mga iba pang masamang bisyo tulad ng pagsugal o pagtaya sa Lotto. XD

  • Reply Mommy Anna January 13, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I agree with you hindi lang mayayaman ang nag make up, even the security guards and some cleaning ladies in the mall and hotels are required to look good. and hindi free ang make up nila. wala lang maisip na matino now a days ang mga politcians

  • Reply Badet Siazon January 13, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Stupid proposal, we already have so many stupid laws in the country. Sana they implement muna yung mga matitinong batas, hindi yung make new laws so that they will more money in their pockets, hmp!

  • Reply Berlin January 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Sorry to say but such a stupid proposal. Perhaps he is tired of his wife (if he has one) buying lots of cosmetics thus thought of this proposition. But certainly, those with money will just buy beauty products abroad and those left to shoulder the proposed tax are the yes- sales ladies and corporate ladies required to wear make up.

  • Reply Maria Teresa Gregorio-Figuerres January 14, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    I totally agree, why tax products that serve to empower women in particular? These politicians should devote their time solving our country’s perennial traffic problem which will benefit all of us.

  • Reply Mhaan A January 15, 2017 at 8:34 am

    I thought it’s a crazy idea the first time I heard about this. I’m affected since I’m a freelance makeup artist. I buy makeup for a living not just sa pagpapaganda. I got pissed when Batocabe said na wag nalang magmakeup kung wala naman pambili. Kairita siya!

  • Reply Allan Reyes January 16, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Kudos to you Ms.Rowena for blogging about this topic. I am a man and I feel your pain on this. May you open the minds of people not to vote on these stupid politicians.

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