"Stephenie Meyer’s novel “Twilight” apparently did so well in the bookstores that the number of copies being imported attracted the attention of a Customs official. Examiner Rene Agulan decreed that duties be paid. It seems that the importer of the book reacted in a manner familiar to most book lovers in the country: to eliminate the hassle, the importer complied with the Customs levy on the title.
Hemley says surrendering to the authorities was a mistake because the Philippines, back in 1952, became a signatory to the Florence Agreement, a United Nations treaty that mandates the tax-free importation of books in order to facilitate the free flow of “educational, scientific, and cultural materials.” The importer’s submission to the whims of Customs whetted the Bureau’s appetite; they put a squeeze on all book importations by air. The result? For two months virtually no imported books entered the country."
So now, all imported books are going to be taxed: 1% for educational and 5% for noneducational.
Some are going to hate on the fans and blame the Twilight books for the fiasco, but that's besides the point. In a third-world country where education and literacy are put on a high pedestal, we cannot afford for books to get any more expensive. Which is why it is important that everyone be properly informed of the root of the problem (money-hungry Customs), so corrective action can be taken.