““Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” Emilie Buchwald
We did it!
While sipping my coffee just before 8:00 this morning, I overheard the lifting of the book blockade by our president over the radio and immediately plurked and twittered with glee:
GMA at DZMM breaking news. Orders lifting of book blockade and suspension of book import taxes.
President Arroyo directed Finance Secretary Margarito Teves to revoke Finance Department Order 17-09 which imposes duty on book importation.
Together with other bloggers, I made a stand and implored our government to break this Book Blockade and remove the imposition of import duties on books. Every voice in Twitter, Plurk, and Facebook and even prayers helped a lot. Cocoy inspired me to make a stand and for that, I thank him for being passionate about this #bookblockade cause among many others, like Manolo Quezon, Robin Hemley, Teodoro Locsin and hundreds more.
I feel victorious too and what I say will just be echoing Cocoy in his Victory!!! #bookblockade Over!
Victory is sweet. Who would have thought we could change Government’s mind?
The sad part of it, as much of our people care more about Kho’s, Belo’s and Halili’s sex life. We won this victory without 95% of our people understanding why it was fought in the first place and why this is important. We fought this battle largely without network television and hardly any support from the daily newspapers. Heck, I don’t think they know it was fought at all.
Our 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. It took her awhile to make a stand as well.
Every parent knows that education indeed holds the key to true progress and is the foundation of a strong and vibrant democracy. A person who knows the value of reading has the power to change the world. That person may just be a child now reading Dr. Seuss or a teen reading “Twilight” but you never know where reading leads them to.
To all the parents and future parents out there, ““It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations–something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.” (Katherine Patterson)
““Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him” (Maya Angelou)
Let’s continue to cultivate the love of reading among our kids and continue to uphold the law.
“This battle was won largely because the diverse group used cyberspace to get our message across. We were heard in the halls of the US Embassy. We were heard in twitter and facebook. We were heard in the UN. And those entities helped put in pressure on our government who would normally wait for the storm to pass.” (Cocoy)
One battle at a time. One day at a time.
Related Blogs and News
Notes from a Blockade Runner, by Robin Hemley
Books for Barrios (of Makati and Alabang) by Dean Jorge Bocobo
Taxing the future by Ellen Tordesillas
Victory! Bookblockade Over by Cocoy
Customs duty on books: a portent of things to come? by Geraldine Po