The Consumer

The foundation President Aquino does not know about


06:07 AM August 24th, 2011

By: Linda B. Bolido, August 24th, 2011 06:07 AM

Scam artists have changed their spiel. After years of telling people they have won prizes from raffles or contests conducted by organizations named after Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo or her husband, they have now “set up” a new foundation “in honor” of the incumbent president.

Recently, I got a text message from a certain Jenny Lopez informing me that my mobile number won the second prize of P950,000 in the Handog Pangkabuhayan of the President Aquino Foundation Inc. To make the news sound legitimate, it even claims to have a permit from the Department of Trade and Industry, number 8287.

I have always been curious though why I only manage to win the second prize, never the first. Does it make it easier to convince people if they are not offered the top prize? The amount of the prize also makes me wonder. Just what is the top prize supposed to be?

Actually, the amount of the second prize makes me suspect the legitimacy of the message. It just does not seem right. Is first prize P1 million, just P50,000 higher than the second? But that’s just me—always the sceptic. The scam must have succeeded with others or it would have died the death a long time ago.

I won’t bother to give Ms Lopez’s telephone number. I am sure she has gotten herself a new number by this time as she informs other people of their good fortune.

Well, at least now, the National Telecommunications Commission has started sending out messages warning people not to believe reports that they have won in raffles or contests they have not joined.

But, as I said, there will always be people who think messages about their winning prizes are legitimate. It is difficult to convince those who want to believe what they want to believe.

Paging BIR

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) should look into the issuance of receipts by taxis. Drivers seem to be always running out of paper and unable to issue a receipt.

Last week, I think I discovered the reason. The driver candidly told me he was not issuing receipts because the operator made the drivers buy the paper needed for the machine.

I just hope the machine registers how much money is actually earned, otherwise BIR’s hopes to collect the right amount of taxes from taxi operators will be dashed.

Out of control

Is the city government of Manila even trying to control pedicabs, tricycles and kuliglig? Now almost every street corner seems to have a long line of these vehicles waiting for passengers. Between the jeepneys, which hog the streets and stop everywhere and anywhere without regard for other vehicles, and these contraptions the streets of Manila are reduced to total chaos.

At least the jeepneys have to be registered but pedicabs, tricycles and habal-habal are unlicensed and unregulated. I do not buy the excuse that what they are doing is better than theft or robbery. They are violating laws by being unlicensed and by flaunting traffic rules.

And do city officials know many of these contraptions are driven by young kids who should, at their age, only be concerned with school and play?

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