May 14, 2009
UPDATE: The tax on books has been lifted thanks to the supporters who mobilized through the blogs, Twitter, Facebook and rallies!
MANILA, Philippines – President Arroyo ordered yesterday the Department of Finance to scrap the taxes imposed on imported books and reading material.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the directive was prompted by a torrent of criticism on the move of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), which is under the supervision of the finance department, to impose the duties.
“President Arroyo ordered the immediate lifting of the customs duty on book importation,” Remonde said in a text message to The STAR.
“The President wants books to be within reach of the common man. She believes reading as an important value for intellectual formation, which is the foundation of a healthy public opinion necessary for a vibrant democracy,” he said.
David Archuleta. “Eat Bulaga.” Philippines. The “Book Blockade.” As of this writing, these are the current trending tags on Twitter. A very interesting thing is happening in the Philippines as I post this — American Idol runner up David Archuleta just appeared on “Eat Bulaga” a noontime variety show which caused a huge soar in trending topics for the word Philippines.