Policy: It is the policy of the State to promote the continuing development of the book publishing industry in all regions of the country as embodied in Republic Act No. 8047 or the "Book Publishing Industry Development Act."
Since authorship is one of the major components of book publishing, the national book policy obliges the State to create a dynamic and conducive environment for the promotion of Filipino authorship and other creative activities in book development.
A National Book Development Trust Fund is established exclusively for the support and promotion of Filipino authorship especially in Science and Technology and in subject areas wherein locally authored books are either few or non-existent.
1. The amount of fifty million pesos (P50,000,000.00) shall be allotted in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the next five (5) years starting from the enactment of this law;
2. The amount of fifty million pesos (P50,000,000.00) from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) fund at five million pesos (P5,000,000.00) per month for ten (IO) months;
3. Another fifty million pesos (P50,000,000.00) from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) at five million pesos (P5,000,000.00) per month for ten (10 ) months.
Grants Program Guidelines:
1. Only interests drawn from the fund sources shall be used;
2. Grants will be awarded after one year and distributed equitably in the regions;
3. Government corporations are authorized to give grants to the fund at their discretion;
4. Contributions to the Fund shall be exempt from the donor's tax and the same shall be considered as allowable deductions from the gross income of the donor, in accordance with the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended;
5. The National Book Development Board (NBDB) shall be the administrator of the Fund; For the sound and judicious management of the Fund, the NBDB shall appoint a government financial institution;
6. The NBDB in coordination with the national and local government units (LGUs) shall undertake activities to inform, promote and develop Filipino authorship;
7. The NBDB may provide incentives to LGUs such as, but not limited to, matching the funds being provided by the LGUs, in activities that reflect their partnership towards attaining the objectives of this Act.
Effectivity. -This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in any newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.
This is consistent with other relevant policies:
Section 2 of Republic Act 8047 recognized that “the book publishing industry has a significant role in national development…considering that books are the most effective and economical tools for achieving educational growth, for imparting information and for recording, preserving, and disseminating the nation’s heritage;
The same law declares as a policy of the State to promote the continuing development of the book publishing industry, with the active participation of the private sector, to ensure the adequate supply of affordable, quality-produced books not only for the domestic but also the export market;
Letter j, Section 6, Rule IV of the Rules and Regulations Implementing R.A. 8047 provides for the Governing Board the power and function to “receive donations, grants, levies, devices, and similar acquisitions which shall form a trust fund of the Board to accomplish its development plans on book publishing. Any intended disbursement from the trust fund must be covered by a duly approved Board resolution;
General Policy #1 of the National Book Policy, promulgated and adopted on 4 July 1999 through Executive Order No. 119, provides that “the State shall create the best condition for the promotion of Filipino authorship and other creative activities in book development;”
Implementing Policy 1.1 and 1.9 of the National Book Policy provide that “new writers/authors shall be developed…with preferential attention to subject areas wherein there is scarcity or no locally-authored publications” and “a book development fund for authors and other personnel in the book publishing industry shall be established, respectively;
Expected Outcomes and Externalities: A National Book Development Trust Fund to support Filipino authorship may solve the following:
1. The problem of low levels of output in book production in the Philippines. This is a concern that has been raised by government policy-makers and stakeholders in the industry (Pacheco, 1996:2,13; UNESCO, 1995; Miranda, 1987:5;Aprieto, 1981:3-4; Albert, et al., 1966:2). The estimates made on the number of titles we produced yearly pales in comparison with other countries.
This will increase the number of titles produced annually especially on local history, science and technology, indigenous children’s stories, and translations of classic works into local languages, among others.
2. The lack of incentives for authors and creative artists caused by the limited number of research grants and fellowships which force authors to move to more financially rewarding endeavors.
This will motivate and inspire veteran as well as budding authors and book writers to write books in Filipino, English and in other local languages.
3. The lack of trained and competent authors, editors, designers, graphic artists and production specialists.
This will create more training and development activities to encourage authors and the creative members of the industry to come out with bigger quality outputs and create more trained and competent personnel.
4. Minimal number of works written in any of the eight major local languages or dialects viz. Cebuano, Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), Bikol, Kapampangan, Ilokano, Waray, Tagalog, and Pangasinan.
This will eventually spur a vibrant book trade in the regions in the future.