Today, I tried to search for more information regarding customs and duties taxes for manga importation because I want to know how much I will be paying once it arrives in my country. But it seems that it is just a hit and miss method. According to some forums, “May tawaran” portion pa kung minsan. There is no definite or fixed price which concludes that it is not really based on a real computation. Argh, I hope they won’t overcharge me for a manga worth 468 Yen. -_-
Anyway, while searching for more customs related issues…I stumbled upon some news and articles about the Philippines Book Blockade. It seems that the Customs will now charge taxes for imported books. 1% for educational and 5% for non-educational. Only those “books or raw materials to be used in book publishing” are exempted, they say. WTH! This is pretty alarming! For sure if this persists, books will gradually drop in quantity. Importers will surely think twice before dealing with imported books. I think there are two possible options for importers: 1.) Do not import at all ; 2.) Increase the prices of imported books. Do not import at all is not good. I can’t imagine seeing nothing new in any local bookstore! (Imagine going to National Bookstore and see the same books you saw last month—how interesting no?) If they go with the first option, our country will be stagnant. Information coming from other countries will not reach our archipelago. With that, what are we going to do? Rely on illegal downloading of scanned versions of the books that we love to buy? That’s really ridiculous! The second one will surely hurt the pockets of buyers and only favors the rich class. Only them who are willing to shell out more money will be able to enrich their knowledge. How about the middle and lower class? Don’t they have the right to have access to these treasures? These taxes on imported books will surely have an impact on our education system. Didn’t we Filipinos believe that education is the key to poverty? So, without updated textbooks, imported reading materials and foreign books, how can we grow? How can we heighten our knowledge, creativity and relation to other countries? How can we understand the cultures of other countries? Just try to guess? By implementing these taxes, they are restricting us for information outside the country. It’s like putting us in a huge cage and banning us to reach out for more knowledge.
Everyone, please let us join our hands. We must do something with this! This is a serious matter. Please spread the word to your friends, relatives, colleagues, to everyone! Imagine our country without these imported books!