The two government banks are now portfolio managers for the trust fund for Filipino authors.
The National Book Development Board (NBDB) officers led by its Chairman, Dr. Dennis T. Gonzalez and Executive Director Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores, signed an agreement last 16 June 2010 to set up two (2) trust fund accounts with the Development Bank of the Philippines and the Land Bank of the Philippines.
To establish the fund, a PhP50M allotment from the General Appropriations Act (GAA) will be provided annually for five years while the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes office (PCSO) will each contribute P50 million for ten months.
The PhP150 million Fund will be established within a period of one year, and the interest from the Fund will provide annually at least fifty (50) grants to authors in all regions in order to spur creativity and support the completion of local manuscripts or research works for publication.
The fund is expected to boost the number of books on local history, science and technology, and in other genres where local works are either few or non-existent.
Signing for NBDB, Dr. Gonzalez, who is also Associate Dean of the Ateneo School of Government, says “this will benefit veteran and promising authors working or researching on topics in which local books are either few or non-existent.” There are many subject areas in which local books are insufficient in number and variety, and most of the books in libraries and bookstores are foreign publications.
According to data gathered by the NBDB, the United Kingdom exported £2.45 million (around Php 173M) worth of books to the Philippines in 2009. US book exports to the Philippines in 2009 (US$21.28M) is bigger than its book exports to New Zealand (US$7.91M), Malaysia (US$9.80M), Thailand (US$7.96M), Taiwan (US$17.18M) and China (US$20.64M).
For the NBDB Executive Director Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores, a book author herself, a trust fund will “boost the annual number of titles produced especially in local history, science and technology, indigenous children’s stories and the translations of classic works into local languages, not only for books written in English.
The NBDB hopes that President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III will appoint competent and responsible members of the Governing Board who shall be the ones to award the initial grants from the interest of the Trust Fund for Filipino authors.