bookbug blues

i could be more upset about the book tax.   i am a bookbug, after all.   i buy imported and local fiction and non-fiction regularly, mostly imported mostly english, and i read them all as a matter of pleasure, of study, sometimes of survival.   do i really not mind paying more?

i mind, of course.   times are hard, money is tight.   maybe it’s just mercury being retrograde, i’ve been through this before, the post office has been taxing our mail-order books for someyears now, and talaga i know i should could be angrier but i just can’t get beyond a hay-naku sabay buntong-hininga.

kumbaga sa “straw that broke the camel’s back” this is not it, this is far from it.    because a tax on imported books simply is too lightweight and too burgis an issue to get me as mad as i already am about the scandalizingly high cost of basic goods and services e.g. food, shelter, clothing, utilities, medicines, and schooling.    “non-educational”  books simply don’t belong in the same category.

nonetheless i wish robin hemley and manolo and jessica and teddyboy and the blogosphere success in the campaign to jolt the government back to its senses and back to full compliance with the florence agreement. until then, books getting more expensive just means i’ll be buying less.   maybe i’ll even stop going to bookstores, as a matter of protest, as 1read2 suggests:

… the government as represented by the Department of Finance and Customs Bureau has made its stand on the Book Tax and Duty.  “Sue us” seems to be the battle cry: A very arrogant one at that.

…Hopefully, someone does sue thembut in the meantime what to do?

Given that it seems that the bookstores and booksellers are somewhat hesitant to challenge this ruling. Perhaps it would be time to do something against this taxation.

Do not buy books that have duties imposed. Do not buy it. Book readers and book collectors are the customers of this industry. And they make it prosper and if the industry cannot defend itself from unjust and illegal taxes it might be the time to not buy.

Books can be downloaded from the Net . Read and even share the ebook with a friend or fellow book reader.

…Refuse to pay the taxman his unjust taxes

Books can be gained in several ways and not all of them involves buying. No I am not referring to stealing. Borrow from the library or share a book with a friend.

Establish book clubs with libraries…

meanwhile as reminds in his comment to mlq3 there’s the 2010 elections coming.   how about if we not vote for candidates who support the book tax.   or, to be positive.   how about if we campaign and vote for candidates who would rescind the book tax (other things being equal ;)

also meanwhile, there’s always booksale.   i don’t mind secondhand books.   i’m also willing to trade, but first i have to put together a list of books that i can bear to part with, fiction and non-, all of them educational.   promise.


  1. GabbyD

    thats the jarring thing. DOF basically has no arguments, other than “basta, just sue me!”, when it is plain to see that they are legally wrong.

    this is a small thing in the context of those other issues, but this is an example of a tax “reform” that is incredibly, obviously wrong regardless of what political persuasion you may have.

  2. hey gabbyd ;) oo nga, jarring: nakakayanig. not only is it plain to see that they’re legally wrong, even plainer to see how they are allowed to twist things, especially words, around to suit gma’s purposes.

    they’re being quite creative actually. an evil kind of creativity. i wish it were more positive, like getting creative, and brave, about running down incometax cheats. or why not, instead of taxing us for books to raise revenue, why not raise taxes on “sins” like cigarettes and alcohol, as many are saying. bakit nga ba hindi ito mangyari-yari. ganoong kalakas ba si lucio tan?

  3. They have been taxing those useless commodities but as always gigantic companies keep on lobbying. It`s always the power of money and influence.

    The DoF knows that 5% taxation of books is against RP commitment to the F. A. But why do they still impose it despite public outcry? Because iba talaga ang gahaman sa pera, they know the proceedings will take a long time hence they want to take advantage of what they are gonna get during this period. Makes me wanna say the f- word.

    The question is: will a portion of tax proceeds go into someone else`s campaign funds again?

  4. Good point: “because a tax on imported books simply is too lightweight and too burgis an issue to get me as mad as i already am about the scandalizingly high cost of basic goods and services e.g. food, shelter, clothing, utilities, medicines, and schooling.”

    The bigger problem will emerge soon–revenue collection as a proportion of GDP is very low. And if government would not be able to solve the tax administration problem soon, it would again resort to increasing the VAT rate to avert another fiscal crisis. And I wish the “burgis” would have the same intensity they displayed in resisting the book tax in opposing an increase in the VAT rate, which would negatively affect the consumption of the poor and lower middle class..

    The tax on imported books is not anti-poor, to be honest. The masa do not purchase imported books. And the rich can easily absorb the 5 percent tax when they buy different types of imported books, including those on dieting, sex, violence, ghosts, creation, Hollywood, Disneyland, and NBA. Am just being provocative here, following Angela’s line that I quoted above.

  5. mlq3: i have “disdain for anything smacking of the bourgeoisie” ? not at all. that would mean having disdain for myself, which i don’t. i just wish booklovers would display the same intensity over, say, the zeppelin’s gasoline prices, or VAT. sana multi-tasking tayo. fight the book tax, yes, but not only the book tax…

  6. GabbyD


    thats what i was referring to with the book tax. sa book tax, its not a question of whether a tax would be good or bad. its mainly about signing an international treaty, and then ignoring it.

    generally speaking, the govt can come up with tax policies that it needs/wants.