To encourage the production of good quality books, the National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Manila Critics Circle (MCC) recently signed a memorandum of agreement to formalize the transfer of the administration of the National Book Awards from MCC to the NBDB.

Dr. Dennis T. Gonzalez, NBDB chairman, and Dr. Isagani R. Cruz of the MCC signed the MOA during the agency’s board meeting and witnessed by NBDB’s governing board members.

“We envision the time when our award-winning authors and publishers will be treated like celebrities, even for a day,” Chairman Gonzalez said.

“In the early days, Krip Yuson used to write scripts for the televised awarding ceremonies. Little by little, our jobs prevented us from doing these things. With the NBA in the hands of the NBDB, we hope a fine celebration befitting our winners will be organized,” Dr. Cruz said.

MCC is an organization of professional literary critics and newspaper columnists. The organization administers and facilitates the annual holding of the National Book Awards, a yearly award that recognizes the best published books for the year. The group started the prestigious awards in 1982.

The MOA “offered the organization, administration and facilitation of the NBA” to the NBDB. MCC decided on this move to “guarantee the continued existence of this much-respected awards in the publishing industry and ensure the continued support the NBA gives to the publishing industry.”

NBDB will be responsible for the yearly organization of the awards to be held sometime in the latter part of the year, which will be during the Philippine Book Development Month in November.