OPENING REMARKS BY DANTE “KLINK” ANG II
BDAP General Membership Meeting, 28 January 2022
Let me thank you for this opportunity to talk to you today. I wish to congratulate the newly elected officers of the Book Development Association of the Philippines. On behalf of the National Book Development Board, warmest greetings to all, and happy new year! Somehow, it feels like 2022 is only just beginning because of Omicron.
I was expected to share words of wisdom. Instead, allow me to share NBDB’s goals for this year. Our bottom line is to help the publishers sell more books. Putting it another way, we hope to help the book publishing industry recover swiftly from the economic impact of Covid-19 and to help set it on track toward profitable growth in the years to come.
We believe that a resilient and robust book publishing industry is vital to the national development agenda. A thriving industry generates jobs.
More importantly, a healthy industry enhances its stakeholders’ capabilities to produce quality books that not only contribute to human capital development, but also preserve and promote Filipino culture.
Our goals this year can be summarized into three tasks:
1. Expand registered stakeholder base to include the entire publishing value chain;
2. Incentivize and provide development opportunities for registered stakeholder base; and
3. Increase programming and book access for the Filipino public.
Allow me to outline a few specifics.
1. NBDB will continue to grow its stakeholder base and incentives.
a. As you know, NBDB decided to temporarily waive the registration fee last year, in order to entice more stakeholders to
register. Because of that, the number of registered organizations, businesses, and individuals increased from 513 in 2020 to
1,989 at the end of 2021 and to 2,488 as of January 26, 2022. You might be pleased to know that our board of governors voted
to extend the free registration up to the end of June 2022, when the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends. Hopefully, the
next batch of NBDB governors will extend the free registration again, which we will certainly endorse when the time comes.
b. NBDB also hopes to increase registration incentives, grants, and subsidized programs for development and marketing from
P3,099,182.26 in 2020 to P47,355,904.28 in 2021. The 2022 goal is P54,855,468.79, as approved by Congress.
c. NBDB will continue to create awareness of the tax and duty-free importation (TADFI) of raw materials for book publishing and
other incentives provided by the government. Because of these incentives, the total tax savings was P20,420,997.33 in 2020,
and in 2021 it increased to P37,302,598.36. In 2022, the goal is to save the industry players P40,000,000 in tax payables.
d. In terms of projects and programs activities, NBDB hopes to do more. There was growth from 52 activities executed relative to
81 planned in 2020 to 257 activities implemented compared to only 21 planned in 2021. For 2022, the goal is to have 168
2. This year, NBDB hopes to continue its research work aimed at strengthening the industry.
a. For textbook publishers, the secretariat is working on a policy paper that will hopefully produce policy recommendations that
address the errors in print and improve the quality of reading materials in general. Also, NBDB reached out to UP Diliman to
explore possible collaborations on this research project.
b. As for trade books, we hope to conduct an industry survey to capture the latest data that will be helpful in crafting and
recommending policies and programs.
3. We hope to enhance agency collaborations this year, considering that NBDB is one of the smallest agencies in the government
system. Despite our size, we hope to have a meaningful impact.
a. So, NBDB will continue working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), particularly with regards to promoting
Philippine books as an export product and updating the government industry road map.
b. Last year, NBDB started collaborating with the House of Representatives regarding initiatives to bolster the creative
industries. That, too, will continue.
c. Furthermore, the agency will continue working with creative and scientific agencies as well as foreign embassies in Manila
and nonprofit organizations.
4. NBDB also plans to strengthen the secretariat.
a. The agency is reorganizing and creating divisions that are more attuned to the needs of our stakeholders. The new divisions
to be created include the following:
1) Policy, research, and evaluation
2) Business and trade development
3) Communications and Information technology
b. And to help attend to these tasks, NBDB also hopes to increase its ranks. The agency has 39 staff with permanent items, and
the secretariat is looking forward to hiring 36 more this year. In January, five new staff were hired and three were
c. Work is also underway to establish a training space, a research center, a library, and a one-stop-business center in our
5. NBDB plans to improve policy work and development.
a. The agency is crafting an updated roadmap, as mentioned earlier. For this, we are working with DTI and with one of your own,
Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores.
b. NBDB hopes to introduce amendments to Republic Act 8047. In this regard, the stakeholders’ meeting has been moved to the
second week of February. We hope to issue a notice and reminder about this soon.
c. We hope to continue assisting other agencies and policymakers with relevant industry reports for their initiatives to address
the needs of the industry.
d. Chief among these offices is our mother agency, the Department of Education. The NBDB officers have spent a lot of executive
time in improving DepEd’s system for procuring supplemental learning resources (SLRs) and self-learning modules (SLMs). In
these interventions, the NBDB team wishes to recognize the contributions of Atty. Dominador Buhain of PHILBOOK and Mr. Paolo
Sibal of PEPA. Their insights and industry experience were helpful in refining our team’s approach and recommendations.
6. The output of NBDB’s work with DepEd is designed to help standardize the evaluation and procurement of books.
a. In that regard, we hope to develop and launch the National Book Database-Single-search repository of Filipino-authored books.
b. And in collaboration with BDAP, we also hope to establish the NBDB Publishing Institute by year-end. For this, we wish to
thank BDAP President Ani Rosa Almario for her invaluable assistance in this project.
7. NBDB hopes to expand its grants and subsidies, as well. The action plan includes the following:
a. Incubation programs, which are designed to help stories get published;
b. Production grants, which were introduced last year and will be continued this year;
c. Oral stories and translation grants, which are in line with plans to develop new markets for Philippine works; and
d. Travel grants, mainly for stakeholders so that publishers and other stakeholders are better represented in international
fairs and events.
8. Finally, with regard to programs, NBDB’s plans include the following:
a. The Book Nook, which was launched in 2021, thanks to Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade who came up with the project,
and the Philippine International Literary Festival, which NBDB initiated in 2021 with a year-long series of events.
b. NBDB also hopes to continue assessing the publisher and publishing value chain in order to close gaps and introduce
interventions to contribute to the development of the book publishing industry.
Besides enhancing the Book Nook project, NBDB also hopes to implement other programs, such as the Book and Buy, Book Offset
Programs, and The Book Shelf, as well as give the usual awards to stakeholders who will represent the country and the
industry in various conferences.
NBDB will continue initiatives to develop foreign markets for all our stakeholders, including participation in international
book fairs and festivals. As you probably know, NBDB, with help from our former governor Ms. Karina Bolasco, had submitted a
bid book that was required of a guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair, hopefully in 2025. We were informed that Frankfurt
organizers will likely make an announcement on the hosting around the middle part of this year. On a related note, allow me
to also thank Mr. Paulo Herras for helping NBDB mount a successful exhibit in Frankfurt last year. We hope to continue that
collaboration with Mr. Herras and others active in the production of local comics and graphic novels.
To conclude, NBDB evidently has a full plate this year. Last year, the agency was able to respond to the industry’s needs, thanks to its strategic partners like BDAP. We hope that our partnership can carry over this year and the years to come. Together, we can build a thriving and competitive book publishing industry.
Once again, thank you for your time, and congratulations to BDAP and its officers!