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The Great Book Blockade 2009

May 20, 2009

I came across the story of The Great Book Blockade 2009 in passing and didn’t read it then because it was…TMI (busygirlyouknow). So it was only when it was featured in the Yahoo! news page in a short and succinct article when I found out what it actually was. And safe to say I was dumbstruck and appalled that it’s been happening right under my nose for a while.

The whole point is that all new books coming into the Philippines are being taxed right now, where they should not be due to what is called a Florence Treaty which the Philippines signed in the 1950s. From what I gather, it basically certifies that the Philippines is committed to tax-less books but this is no longer the case today as the Bureau of Customs are stressing that ONLY books that are educational, scientific and cultural related are tax-free. So what does this not allegedly exclude? Oh, just, you know, novels.

I…have no words.

And if there are, they were enough said by angry readers, bloggers, legislators among other personalities who are advocates of reading, education and literacy, all of them against this blatant suppression of book acquisition, and breaking international law.

AND know for sure that novels are actually educational, scientific, and cultural materials, tyvm.

The whole story is all documented here, and it is quite personal to me as a reader and a lover of books in the Philippines. So here I am, going all protest and self-righteous mode, WHICH of course is kind of sad too because I really don’t bother much in any other aspects of government fail. BUT I SWEAR THEY TOUCH MAH BOOKS I PROMISE THIS WILL REALLY MEAN WAR. X(

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