I humbly propose the following contributions of the National Book Development Board to the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP 2012-2016):
(1) The NBDB shall provide technical support to the Department of Education and Philippine book publishers for the development of textbooks, both printed and electronic, for the additional 3 years of the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education program.
(2) The NBDB shall pursue programs to assist local publishers in increasing the quantity, quality and variety of higher education books, and improving their distribution in all regions of the country.
(3) The NBDB shall monitor periodically the level and quality of book readership among all age sectors of the citizenry, and formulate programs to improve readership.
(4) The NBDB shall pursue programs to support the creative sector in the book industry.
As regards (1), Section 10 of Republic Act 8047 or the 1995 Book Publishing Industry Development Act provides that “the DepEd shall consult with the NBDB in prescribing guidelines, rules, and regulations in preparing the minimum learning competencies, and/or prototypes and other specifications for books required by public elementary and secondary schools.”
As regards (2), our college students and their parents would spend less on imported books if local publishers increased the quantity, quality and variety of higher education books, both printed and electronic. In 2008 and 2009, the US book exports to the Philippines amounted to USD$19.997M and USD$21.281M, respectively (http://www.ita.doc.gov/td/ocg/exp2731.htm). The UK book exports amounted to £ 2.223M in 2008 and £ 2.246M in 2009 (http://www.publishers.org.uk).
To develop local knowledge and create local content in print and electronic formats, the NBDB has organized Academic Publishing Conferences (APC) to offer to higher education institutions several training and development opportunities in which local and foreign book industry experts are involved. We have organized APCs in Quezon City (2007), Cebu (2008), Baguio (2009), Davao (2009), and Makati City (2010).
As regards (3), the NBDB organized the NBDB Readership Survey in 2003 and 2007 with the help of the Social Weather Stations in order to provide to the reading public, educational institutions, and the book industry accurate, up-to-date, and relevant information on the state of Philippine readership nationwide. The NBDB Readership Surveys are the most comprehensive attempts to determine the reading preferences, attitudes and habits of our citizenry.
As regards (4), the NBDB introduced book development interventions to support the creative sector in the book industry by catalyzing the organization of the Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society (FILCOLS), a local collective management organization that pursues fair remuneration for copyright-holders and which helps curb illegal photocopying and book piracy.
We have held copyright training activities, and represented the interests of book development stakeholders in the National Committee for Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) since 2005. According to a World Intellectual Property Organization study by Atty. Emma Francisco, the press and literature sector, which includes book publishing, was the most significant contributor (2.13%) to Philippine GDP among the creative industries.
To support the creative sector the NBDB has organized the 1st Manila International Literary Festival, the 1st National Children’s Book Awards, and the National Book Development Trust Fund to support Philippine authors. We have also professionalized the annual National Book Awards.
For its part, the Philippine book industry increased its yearly output of new books in 2007 (5,518), 2008 (5,819) and 2009 (5,983), based on records from the National Library.
Francisco, Emma et al. “The Economic Contribution of Copyright-Based Industries in the Philippines.” http://www.wipo.int/ip-development /cen/creative industry/pdf/1009E-1.pdf p. 20.