NO TO THE PHILIPPINE BOOK BLOCKADE!

  • by: Maia Dumdum
  • target: Philippine Customs and Undersecretary Sales
This is an online petition fueled by disgust over the recent book blockade in the Philippines. Philippine Customs has caused a sudden halt in the importation of books because of their greed and if they are to be allowed to twist the law to their advantage, we will have allowed the literacy problem in our country to worsen.

Undersecretary Sales is not aware of how important books have become to Filipinos. Books like Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, etc, have helped a new generation of children discover a love for reading and in essence, becoming more educated. Instead of taking this into consideration, she is openly defying the Florence Agreement, which is an international law of which the Philippines is a signatory of, because of her greed.

This book blockade is another embarrassment to the Philippines, no thanks to Undersecretary Sales, who claims that she is the only one to interpret the law correctly and has now been placing taxes on books.

I disagree with her.

Here are links to help further enlighten you about the plight of Filipino readers now. The first one is written by Robin Hemley, a professor participating in a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Philippines. The second one is from the Inquirer website.

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/manila/1dispatch6.html
http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20090504-202929/The-great-book-blockade-of-2009

[ETA]:
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/tax-imported-books-hit
http://leflaneur.tumblr.com/post/106604470/barefaced-brazenness
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=466723
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=467502

Please sign this petition and let your voices be heard. This is unfair to every Filipino who loves to read. Through reading, we learn and if we are to allow other generations to be deprived of learning because of our greedy and corrupt Customs officials, then we will have only contributed to the problem. I say that we let the Supreme Court interpret the laws instead of allowing Philippine Customs to put their own little twist to it.

[ETA]
Just to let everybody know, this will not be in vain. I am already drafting a letter that will be forwarded directly to Miriam Santiago and the other senators investigating this mess.

[ETA: UPDATES!]
PHILIPPINE STAR REPORTS THAT GMA HAS ORDERED FOR THE TAXATION OF BOOKS TO BE LIFTED.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=471074&publicationSubCategoryId=63

Congratulations to all! Let this episode never be forgotten and let this strengthen our love for books!
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