Mixed reaction to Philippines "rosary tax"

A plan to tax the sale of rosaries by the Church, and all commercial religious activities in the Philippines, has drawn mixed reaction.

"They [churches] must declare their income and pay for those businesses," internal revenue commissioner Guillermo Parayno said, referring to rents from use of church buildings and lands, sales of rosaries and other religious items, and profits from other investments.

A United Press International report on the Big News Network says Senator Joker Arroyo of the ruling Lakas Party voiced suspicion over the timing.

It was announced just when the church was becoming more critical of Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He said the church had never been taxed since it has been in the Philippines, The South China Morning Post reported.

But the report says the move drew an unlikely ally. Eddie Villanueva, leader of the Jesus Is Lord evangelical movement, which has a large following in Hong Kong, said such activities should be taxed.

Mixed reaction over rosary tax (Big News Network/United Press International 19/4/05)
Philippines plan to tax church activities stirs heated debate (Ecumenical News International 19/4/05)

20 Apr 2005