Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Florence Agreement and the Bureau of Customs

florence agreement
As the corrupt customs officials here in the Philippines celebrate a new source of corruption, will they sleep more soundly at night?

They are now asking for duties on imported books! Whatever happened to the agreement?

Florence Agreement
Read the Florence Agreement here

I really liked this statement here from mcsweeneys.net:
The importer of Twilight made a mistake and paid the duty requested. A mistake because such duty flies in the face of the Florence Agreement, a U.N. treaty that was signed by the Philippines in 1952, guaranteeing the free flow of "educational, scientific, and cultural materials" between countries and declaring that imported books should be duty-free. Mr. Agulan told the importer that because the books were not educational (i.e., textbooks) they were subject to duty. Perhaps they aren't educational, I might have argued, but aren't they "cultural"?
I was thinking of that same thing.

Likewise, with the Florence Agreement, she argued that only educational books could be considered protected by the U.N. treaty. Customs would henceforth be the arbiter of what was and wasn't educational.

"For 50 years, everyone has misinterpreted the treaty and now you alone have interpreted it correctly?" she was asked.

"Yes," she told the stunned booksellers.

..and now, she is a genius!

This is what some people would do to get ahead of the pack.

I hope that one day, Philippines won't be synonymous to corruption. From what is happening right now, it is not far from reality.

It's so sad that this is happening to an Awesome country like the Philippines.

Just go to mcsweeneys.net and read more about it before they charge you reading taxes!

More updates soon as I do an indepth research of it. I just heard about this a few hours back.


Anonymous said...

Interesting story as for me. It would be great to read a bit more about that matter.
By the way check the design I've made myself Companionship in London