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]
UPDATE: Dennis Gonzalez, NBDB Chairman writes about the blockade as being illogical and illegal.
Reading this today made my blood boil. Let me quote:
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:
We literally have thousands of books scattered across the house (oh, some of those books in the photos actually belong to this guy). We have one room that was fabricated to house the family collection, which will be inherited by my children’s children’s children. And so on. The prized collection includes annals of National Geographic, Reader’s Digest and original silver age comics from Marvel and DC which my dad bound into several volumes.
But apparently, these are all worthless in developing the human character: BOC’s Sales says books are non educational.
I wrote an update for The Blog Herald — the Philippine blogosphere uses Twitter and David Archuleta’s media clout to voice the ire over the Great Book Blockade.