Here it is. A series of unrelated events can lead to a change agent for the Philippines. If not transformative, at least it will be very informational to bloggers and news agencies around the world on the plight of the great book blockade.
Thanks to David Archuleta’s appearance in Eat Bulaga, the Philippines is now a trending topic on Twitter. If you love books, please help us cross market the #bookblockade hashtag to let the world know about the stupidity of Espele Sales. You can keep track of the conversation through www.search.twitter.com and keying in the #bookblockade hashtag.
UPDATE II: Marvic Leonen, Dean of UP Law School is going to be filing a legal case and needs all the evidence he can get. If you have a receipt from the post office or customs, which proves that they asked you to pay tax for books imported from abroad, please gather them up and send an email to chingbee(dot)cruz(at)gmail(dot)com [source]
The treaty has provided for duty-free importation of books to guarantee the free flow of “educational, scientific, and cultural materials” between countries and declared that imported books should be duty-free.
But Sales reportedly brushed off this argument, saying novels and reading books are “not educational.”
The imposition of duties on foreign books has caused book importers to reconsider future importations due to higher importation costs for the books.
If there is truth in her unbridled statement, then I fear that all my life, I have wasted my time reading books, thinking that I would have received what she apparently does not see as “education.” Let me show you what the Bureau of Customs sees as non-educational: