File photo: Philippine bishops with former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
File photo: Philippine bishops with former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – The influential Catholic Church in the Philippines can learn a thing or two from the country’s civilian government, especially around taxes.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is closely monitoring developments within the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which recently announced that tax collection this year has increased because of the sin tax.

The sin tax is collected from sales of alcohol and tobacco. According to BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares, there has been a 29.7 percent increase in excise tax collections in just the first semester of the current fiscal year.  This growth was driven by a 44.44 percent increase in collections from tobacco products and 11.62 percent increase from alcohol.

In an emergency meeting convened last night by CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the country’s top prelates strategized on how to deal with the declining church revenue from the Sunday collection baskets.

Citing the success of the BIR’s sin tax collections, Villegas proposed that the church institute something similar. He proposed that instead of asking people to pray Hail Marys or the rosary as part of their penance when going to confession, priests will ask repentants to contribute money to the church, much like a sin tax.  Priests will be given the authority to determine how much sin tax to impose, depending on whether the sins confessed are mortal or venial sins.

Special collection boxes will be installed beside confessional boxes in all churches in the country for this purpose.

The CBCP expects to increase its collections by 200 percent once this proposal is implemented. Villegas said CBCP will ask Pope Francis’ blessing for the sin tax when the head of the Roman Catholic Church visits the Philippines next January.






Chris Kohrs, the Hot Cop of CastroWashington, D.C. (The Adobo Chronicles) – It was just a matter of time. The Hot Cop of Castro finally accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge and the ALS Association is not happy.  In fact, it is suing Chris Kohrs and the San Francisco Police Department for “infringement of an idea” and for “donation laundering.”

The Ice Bucket Challenge is the viral social media campaign aimed at raising funds for ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Thousands have accepted the challenge by dousing themselves with a bucket of ice and posting a video on social media. They then challenged others  to do the same within 24 hours or make a donation to the ALS Association (or both).

Kohrs had himself doused not once but five times with a bucket of ice at a fundraising event to benefit a memorial fund for the San Francisco Police Department.  The event was held at The Cafe bar in the Castro, the city’s gay district.

Upon learning of the fundraising event, the ALS Association filed a lawsuit for infringement and laundering, claiming that the hot cop stole its idea to raise funds for a different cause.

Attorneys for the SFPD responded that the ALS Association does not own the trademark for the Ice Bucket Challenge.  A quick check by The Adobo Chronicles confirmed that there is no such trademark or pending trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The ALS Association is now considering an out-of-court settlement where the proceeds from the Castro event will be split 50-50 between the Association and SFPD.

All’s well that ends well!


imageManila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the U.S. by storm, and in style.

Bill Gates built his own backyard rope and pulley mechanism to douse himself with a bucket of ice. LeBron James took the challenge aboard a yacht. Lady Gaga used a pure silver bucket in place of plastic.

Now, the runaway social media campaign originally intended to create greater ALS awareness and raise money for ALS research has crossed the Pacific and has made landfall in the Philippines.

Filipino celebrities are beginning to take up the challenge. Tony Award-winning singer Lea Salonga is among the latest to accept the challenge. In her Facebook page, she has asked her fans for suggestions on who to challenge next. Kris Aquino’s name came up of course.

In an exclusive interview with The Adobo Chronicles, Aquino, the sister of Philippine President NoyNoy Aquino, said that she will gladly accept the challenge from Salonga or anyone else – whichever comes first.

But Aquino wants to accept the challenge in style and doesn’t want to be outdone by the American celebrities. She says she will douse herself with a yellow bucket of ice in the front lawn of Malacañang palace (the official presidential residence in Manila), wearing a yellow raincoat. Yellow is the official color of the political opposition in the Philippines which started during the time of the late President Cory Aquino.

“By wearing a yellow raincoat, I will be hitting the bird with three stones,” she said. “First, I will fulfill the Ice Bucket Challenge. Second, I will be promoting a possible second presidential term for my brother. Third, I will not ruin my new short hair style.”

Asked if she knew what ALS stood for, she quickly retrieved her smart phone from her yellow purse, logged on to Wikipedia, and proudly said “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis!”



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