Praying for the 3rd Filipino Saint
THE news about the finding of forensic experts about the exhumed body of the late Archbishop Teofilo Camomot of Carcar, Cebu is really unbelievable. The body may have decomposed but there are two uncommon aspects about the remains—The bones and clothes of the deceased were “in pristine condition, uncorrupted by any form of infestation and insect activity. There was a remarkable absence of foul smell and odor of decay.”
Dr. Erwin Erfe, head of the forensic team, stated that “this is the first time I encountered something like this… Usually, there is an odor of decay whenever we examine remains even decades after the death of the person. And usually, the remains are infested with insects considering that the coffin is made of wood. In the case of Archbishop Camomot, there’s no foul smell and its remains were neither infested with insects.”
The body of Archbishop Camomot was first exhumed in 2009 from a Carcar City cemetery, and was transferred to the compound of the Daughters of St. Teresa de Avila (DST), a congregation founded by him. My sister and I are so blessed that we were able to visit the place last year, Fr. Heiden Timbang of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Sangat, Carcar, Cebu brought us there. The second exhumation was conducted early this month and his skeletal remains were placed in a fiber glass effigy and laid in a white coffin. It was buried at the Domus Teofilo (House of Teofilo) in Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City after the Mass celebrated by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who told the people to pray as the Archdiocese of Cebu continues the stringent process for the beatification and canonization of the archbishop. He urged the parishioners to emulate the life and virtues of the priest. Abp. Camomot was known for his extreme generosity and love for the poor. The Archdiocese of Cebu “took the fourth, left rib that was close to Abp. Camomot’s heart to be a relic or a tangible item for veneration in case the priest will be beatified or canonized.”
Republic Act 109631 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law is now in effect. We are waiting for the release of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Supposed to take effect January 01, 2018, many products, utilities and others will be affected, thus, let us expect price increase in all of them. Beside the value added tax, excise tax will be charged on all these commodities—sweetened beverage and cigarettes, petroleum and automobile tax. No more tax exemptions in lotto winnings and cosmetic procedures.
We still have to wait for the IRR to check whether or not powdered drinks classified as milk, juice, tea and coffee, cereal and grain beverages and other non-alcoholic beverages that contain added sugar are covered by the increase.
Prices of gasoline and diesel/bunker fuel already includes excise tax, which would be increased every year up to 2020. This would mean corresponding increases in cost of fare (bus, jeepney, tricycle, boat/ship, airline), electricity, water and everything which uses these fuel products. With higher cost of fuel, fare will also increase. Meralco and Maynilad/Manila Waters already announced the price increase in electricity and water, respectively. All of these will have effect on the increase in price of goods transported from places where they are harvested and manufactured.
The Train Law will have beneficial effect to those who are receiving fixed income, like office employees and workers, particularly those receiving an annual salary of P250,000 because they are now exempted from tax. Also exempted from taxation are 13th month pay and bonuses.
Estates worth P5.0 Million and below will be free from taxation, but P5.0 Million and above will have 6% of the excess over P5.0 Million. Before, if the net estate is P200k, estate tax is 20%. Donor’s tax is now 6% whether donors and donees are related. Before, donor’s tax is 15% if they are related; if not, tax is 30%. The Train Law doubled all documentary taxes.
The first tax reform package is expected to generate P130 billion. The taxes that may be collected will be used to fund part of the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program which includes infrastructure projects that cost from P8 trillion to P9 trillion between 2017 and 2022.