The National Book Development Board of the Philippines (NBDB) offers translation subsidies to Philippine publishers to translate existing published books in a Philippine language to English or any other foreign language. 


The subsidy program aims for wider dissemination of Philippine culture, art, and literature, locally and globally, by allowing readers to read extant Philippine published books in their native languages.

The subsidy program will cover translation costs to a maximum of PHP 150,000.00 per title.


Who may apply?

  1. Philippine publishers who intend to translate and publish books in a Philippine language to English or any other foreign language.
  2. Philippine publishers who sold translation rights of a published Filipino work to a foreign publisher (license and translation contracts must have been executed) may apply.


If applying for item 1 or 2:

  • The original work must be published in the Philippines and written by a Filipino author in any of the country’s languages (Filipino, English, and other Philippine languages).
  • The publisher applying for the subsidy must be a recognized Philippine publishing enterprise duly registered with NBDB for the current fiscal year.
  • Book publishing must be the company’s primary trade.
  • The publisher must have an active backlist of at least 20 titles.
  • The publisher must have effective distribution network and marketing and promotional plans for the chosen work.
  • A contractual agreement must exist, at the time of the application, between the rights holder and the publisher of the original work granting translation rights to the publisher applying for the translation subsidy program, unless the work is in the public domain.

If applying for item 2:

  • License agreements and translation contracts must already be signed at the time of application.

Other eligibility requirements:

  • The book must have at least 48 printed pages, except if children’s fiction.
  • Eligible genres include:
  1. fiction (novels, novellas, or short story collections)
  2. poetry
  3. children’s fiction (excluding picture books)
  4. biography and autobiography
  5. graphic novel
  6. creative non-fiction
  7. essays
  8. literary criticism
  9. academic non-school books
  10. scientific works
  • Application for translation subsidy program must be done prior to the printing stage.

Application Process

Applications must be received by NBDB on or before 29 June 2018, 5:00 pm.

Interested publishers should email their applications to with the subject: NBDB Translation Subsidy Program Application (Name of publishing enterprise).

The following documents should be attached in PDF:

  • completed application form
  • publisher profile
  • contractual agreement from the rights holder
  • foreign publisher profile (if to be published by foreign publisher)
  • signed license agreement (if to be published by foreign publisher)
  • signed translator’s contract
  • copy of the translator’s Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • 8-10 pages of sample translation of the chosen book
  • one-page evaluation of the translator’s work
  • marketing and promotional plan for the work to be published. Plan must include the following details:
  1. target date of publication
  2. area of distribution
  3. print run (minimum of 2,000 copies)
  4. price of book
  5. estimated readers
  6. advertising and publicity plan


The entries will be screened by the NBDB Secretariat and approved by the Governing Board. Applications will be evaluated according to the chosen book’s artistic merit, the publisher’s and translator’s credentials, and the quality of the marketing and promotional plans.

One aspect of particular concern to the NBDB is the quality of the translation. Only translations of a high standard can be granted subsidies.


Translation subsidy evaluation results will be announced one month after the application deadline. Translation subsidy recipients will be notified through email.

For successful applicants, the NBDB will give a Letter of Offer with the Terms and Conditions and performance measures of the translation subsidy program.

Notified applicants have two weeks to accept the offer by signing a Letter of Offer reply slip. Failure to send the reply slip within two weeks will forfeit the translation subsidy.

The translated book must be published one year after the translation subsidy is awarded.


In the work, an acknowledgement has to be printed that publication has been made possible with the financial support from the National Book Development Board (NBDB) Translation Subsidy Program with the NBDB logo placed on the copyright page of the book.

Translation Subsidy Payments

The translation subsidy will be paid in two installments.

Fifty percent will be awarded after the translation is completed.

The remaining fifty percent will be given after the publisher submits three print copies of the published book.

Application Forms

You can download the application forms here.


Contact Information

For inquiries, please contact:

Anthony John R. Balisi
Director I
National Book Development Board
Unit 2401 Prestige Tower
F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center,
Pasig City 1605, Philippines

Telefax: +632 570 6198 or +632 687 1804