Quick Links: Talumpati | Licensed Librarians | Filipiniana Online | Stereotypes | Leadership | The Philippines

The Great Book Blockade of... 1959

Deja vu?! Well, the circumstances fifty years ago were a bit different, but those complaining about "The Great Book Blockade of 2009" should read "Bookselling In Manila" (pdf; registration required but it's free!), a 1960 article by Joaquin Po, who was then owner and manager of Popular Bookstore and president of the Philippine Bookseller's Association:

Prior to the enactment of the 25% margin fee law, the 17% exchange tax was converted into the 17% special import tax in accordance with the Laurel-Langley Agreement. In order that imported books be exempted from this tax, a certification has to be obtained from the Secretary of Education to the effect that they are texts, references, scientific, technical or religious books - which means, of course, that general books for general readers are not considered at all. After obtaining the certification, it still has to be submitted, together with other documents, to the Central Bank for approval in order that the books can be exempted from the payment of the 25% margin fee.

It is very frustrating to note that all these restrictions are being imposed on the importation of books in spite of the fact that the Philippines is a signatory to the UNESCO Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Articles and Materials... Instead of abiding by these international commitments, our government in most instances has been doing just the opposite...

Source: Philippine Studies 8 (1960): 389—393

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...