Last May, Filipino bibliophiles rejoiced at their seeming victory against the Great Book Blockade. But it turns out that the celebrations were premature. Found via kyu that the import taxes on books are still in place after all.
Affected this time are not the big bookstores and importers but everyday joes who receive books in small quantities. As per kyu's story, one hapless follow got slapped with over 100% taxes on the books that his girlfriend sent him (including the shipping charges, too.)
According to the NBDB, the individual book buyer must apply for duty exemption at the DOF. You get the exemption the same day you apply for it; you have to apply for an exemption every time you have books coming in. It’s just how it is right now.
An EO zero-rating books is in the works and it just might make our lives as individual book buyers much easier. But we still have to wait and see.
What the Philippine government can't win against its citizens by force, it will attempt to win by attrition and frustration.