“It’s all Twilight’s fault!”

There is an issue I’ve been tracking since yesterday about a new law implemented by the Department of Finance on the Bureau of Customs to exact import duties on books. Books!

My first reaction was shame. I didn’t know books weren’t being taxed. Though now it’s pretty clear why our books are cheaper than the US price, and now I won’t be surprised if they creep nearer to the jacket price.

For someone who cares for books as much as I do, I would’ve written an enraged post if I didn’t have all the facts. But thanks to book blogger, Charles Tan, I am spared an hour or two of writing. So for those who want to be in the know, here are some articles to read.

It all began with this — The Great Book Blockade of 2009. Written by an American professor, it narrates how import levies were ‘unscrupulously’ imposed on books which, according to the Florence Treaty of 1950’s, are exempted from taxes. The article is provocative, and it is no surprise that some bloggers immediately had their pitchforks raised.

Then comes a superb writeup by Charles Tan — Clarifying The Great Book Blockade of 2009.It made be breathe a little better. This is all I really needed to know:

What does the new law entail to the regular consumer? Currently, little to no impact at all (which isn’t to say you shouldn’t be concerned about it). In the future? Bookstores might increase their prices by either 1% (if the said item is determined as educational/cultural) or 5% (if it’s not) but that’s months ahead when bookstores can factor the new law into their accounting (they’ll most likely be raising prices more than 1% or 5%). What is currently affecting us is the corruption, which we’ve been living with for the past few decades and in my opinion, that’s what we should be rallying against. However, if you’ve been living with it this long, your current situation honestly hasn’t changed, despite complaints that events have turned for the worse. The only difference now is that you’re less ignorant about it.

So what does Twilight have to do with all this? Read up on the issues and learn. 😉

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