By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr. [BicolToday.com]
Sidewalks are beyond the commerce of man, indeed, but our little brothers use them to have a clean livelihood. They are better off in business principles compared to the multi-nationals and other big businesses in the country who are tax cheats and smugglers and who rake in profits to the disadvantage to our national treasury. You may disagree.
Here’s the why? Our sidewalk vendors or side walk vending is an eyesore, congest a narrow thoroughfare, spills pedestrians to vehicular hazards, their products either homemade or imitations, don’t pay their taxes, prone to mulcting, if its food in the cart, sanitation is desired. But in-spite of these flaws, why are they better off than their multi-national counterparts?
Again think about the picture of the multi-national and big businesses. Multinational corporations or MNC’s are the rapist of the environment though favored by the government because of its job generation and investment but likewise are the discordant note in our efforts to take development as non-destructive force altering an eco-system. The paper mills of old days, the pro-logging stance of the government added more woes to cheat our forest reserved and evading taxes.
Those years saw our forest products floating in international waters without the government collecting the right taxes. Rubbing further insult are the thousands of hectares left as denuded forest after its operation. Does a micro vendor using the sidewalk selling peanuts, barbeque or similarly hawking destroys and denude our forest?
Another are the mining operations, we favor big-scale mining form through partnership with foreign equities, believing perhaps that we can regulate its operations, More often than not, this open pit mines dismembered our country’s bowel, giving us more health toxicity than we can imagine.
From lead, to zinc, asbestos to carbides all contributors to the failing health of our able miners is best left for us to cure. Have we seen a product so destructive marketed by our side walk hawkers? None.
The oil industry players who un-mercilessly took advantages in all imaginable formula to cheat the public of the level market price of petrol products are in the same block with the others. Here the players quiver for a retail price reduction however gleefully plastered their outlets with their new price hike. Lately one of them was charged with smuggling. Did you know a sidewalk vendor who was charge smuggling because of undeclared goods offered in his micro market. Again none.
Let’s have a look to the group of medium enterprises. Here I categorized the public and private works contractors, for they are the shrewdest of the lot. From sub-standard materials to under the table representations and haphazard construction of projects are but few of their sins. What is aggravating is their non-remorse to put at risk a person life because of their faulty construction design or standard.
Have you heard that one of them was sent to jail because of construction mal-practice. Or have you notice how they cluttered public roads in transporting their construction materials and even half-closing a thoroughfare because of their open stockpiling methods. How about our little entrepreneurs? They are often demolished for they obstruct the roads.
Now, comparing the two is but fitting an elephant to an ant, but the ants are the laborious lot who fed a hungry populace with what they have in their pocket, whilst the elephants of business fed only their bank accounts while cheating in millions the revenues due to the government.
The two are similar, earned through their businesses, if the big ones has social responsibility which has become a sort of a culture on it, it is also their culture not to pay right taxes, aside from labor contracting which they practiced, over and above their stand to sub-grade the wages of their workers and harassing the same when they petitioned for strike, both spoils the environment with their trade dirt’s, that of the sidewalk vendors by their cups, sticks, plastics and others are only too small, but alas, the MNC’s and other big business littered the land in unimaginable proportion that generations from now may not see the light of day because of the callousness of their enterprise. Small vendors don’t collapsed an economy, they don’t create recessions, asked the big ones how they do it.
I rather go for the side walk vendors and street hawkers, though imperfect, but at least know how to keep sanity in the market place. BicolToday.com
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