NBDB extends promotion of Intellectual Property Rights
As part of its mandate to respect
and inculcate the concept of intellectual property ownership, the National Book
Development Board (NBDB) participated in the recently held Intellectual
Property (IP) Youth Camp in Cebu City last August 19-20, 2015. Organized by the
Intellectual Property of the Philippines (IPOPHL), this program aims to create
a globally competitive Philippines by encouraging the youth to be creative,
innovative, and respectful of Intellectual Property Rights.
On its third year, IPOPHL brought
the youth camp to Cebu to expand the reach of the program. There were about 40
participants who attended the event from science and technology and private
secondary schools in Cebu province.
Graciela Mendoza-Cayton shared an inspiring message about the country’s book
industry and the importance of reading with the students. In her speech, Ms. Mendoza-Cayton
encouraged the students not just to read Filipino-authored, books but also to
write in support of the industry and to establish a pool of creators.
The NBDB supports programs
that campaigns for the development of the Copyright sector, specifically the
book industry. These programs include World Book and Copyright Day held
annually on the 23rd of April, copyright clinic for NBDB-registered
stakeholders, and the launch of book champions and IP ambassadors.
Aiding the Development of Regional Book Industry
The National Book
Development Board (NBDB) through its Booklatan sa Bayan program lent its
support to the growing book industry in the Ilocos region. Booklatan sa Bayan
is a quarterly program of the NBDB that aspires to promote a culture of reading
and lifelong learning among Filipinos. It aims to encourage the production of
original content, help promote and develop library systems, reading centers,
and other points of book access. Booklatan sa Bayan has visited various cities
and provinces in the Philippines including Malabon City, Valenzuela City,
General Santos City, Laoag City conducting different activities such as
lectures, seminar-workshops, book fairs, and storytelling sessions to students,
teachers, librarians, writers, and readers.
In its most
recent event on July 30 and 31, 2015, a book fair and a series of lectures
called “Libro Ilokano 2015: 1st Ilokano Book Fair” were held at the
University of Northern Philippines auditorium (UNP). The event is an initiative
of Gunglo dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano – Filipinas (GUMIL Filipinas) and UNP’s
Center for Ilokano Studies, in cooperation with the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino
(KWF) and NBDB.
The two-day event
was themed “Lagip ni Don Belong, Iti Libro Matiganayon” in honor of the late Don Isabelo de los Reyes,
well-known Ilocano writer, politician, labor activist, and revolutionary leader
from Vigan City. Participating book sellers and publishers were Adarna House,
Anvil Publishing, KWF, Lampara Books, Librong Lira, National Bookstore, UP
Press, and Visprint, Inc.
On July 31, the
speakers in the first series of lectures were author Bebang Siy, writer and
translator Dr. Michael M. Coroza, and author Eros Atalia. Bebang Siy enumerated
the effective stepson how an aspiring author can engage his/her readers. Issues
on copyright were also tackled in her lecture. The key points in translating
literary works from English to Filipino and other regional languages were
discussed by Dr. Mike Coroza. Contemporary author Eros Atalia gave a talk about
flash fiction in Philippine history. The
speakers in the afternoon lecture-workshops were Ilokano writers, Sherma E.
Benosa, Anna Liza M. Gaspar, and Neyo Mario E. Valdez.
The book fair
was attended by authors, publishers, and teachers and students of literature.
Isang pag-alaala at
Usec. Francisco M.
The sadness within these walls
is the quiet
sadness of space itself;
And hollow, like a forgotten
well I’d like to fill up
with flood waters, lava, or
Departures are never as swift
as the flick of a light
switch, or as definitive as
the collapse into dust
cloud and rubble of a tall
building under engineered
blasts of planted dynamite.
You walk out in particles,
leaving granulated good-byes
like very fine sand. I’m
sure some remnant of your
reflection is still around,
bouncing off yet another conniving surface
Excerpt from “In Absentia” by Sid Gomez Hildawa
Narito sa lupa ang mga bagay
para tayo may makapitan
Sa ilalim ng sapin-saping
mata ang sibuyas.
Walang dahilan para lumuha.
Kailangan lamang pumikit
para makitang muli
ang mga nawala at naglaho
Excerpt from “Dito sa Lupa” by Allan Popa
Two years ago, he appeared at one board meeting with his arm in a cast. He explained that he and his motorcycling group were on one of their trips to northern Luzon when his cycle crashed. We were at the edge of our seats as he narrated what happened. But as he vividly recounted the close shave and relived the exact split second when he knew an accident was certain to happen, he remembered no fear. Nor a serious lamentation that his damaged motorcycle was just newly bought. Nothing to worry about, he said, being a regular at the shop. And we could tell that his sense of daring and adventure would always continue to overpower all else. There was no stopping him—on his motorbike or at the Department of Education.
That was why when I found out that he figured in a fatal crash on that cruel Saturday morning of Aug. 29, I was not surprised that he had continued to pursue his passion with big bike-riding and the sense of total freedom it always gave him. But I was devastated and distressed to know that when his motorcycle skidded on the Pililla, Antipolo, that day, he did not make it. How could the DepEd’s superhero Batman, the term of endearment conferred on him by his staff, who gave him Batman cufflinks as a birthday present on March 30, have been so vulnerable?
We at the National Book Development Board (NBDB) had a special bond with Undersecretary Francis Varela because he was the DepEd’s designate as NBDB vice chair. How fortunate to have him with us since 2011; he was no nominal vice chair and neither was he your typical government bureaucrat who spoke only empty, ambiguous diplomatese. He was sharp and direct, guiding us to the judicious use of our budget, advising us on the fine print of contracts, reminding us about DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and COA (Commission on Audit) restrictions. Like Education Secretary Armin Luistro, he was very concerned about unethical practices in the publishing industry so that we chided him when, during the rounds of interviews for NBDB executive positions, he was raising pointed questions. “Are you continuing your investigation for the department?” wehad to ask.
What little time he had to spare from his responsibilities as education undersecretary for finance and administration, he would generously give us. Why, he was always just a text away and would respond to my nagging reminders about documents buried on his desk, the fate of the Library Hub, feedback that he and Secretary Armin ought to know, his aunts in Bacolod (on the Varela side) awaiting a visit, and even a personal complaint about our family driver’s grandson being harshly spoken to on the first day of school.
Our monthly breakfast meetings were set based on his available mornings and he never failed us except for an occasional Malacañang meeting on the DepEd budget. And because he was the only board member that could read and speak Cebuano (he is from Oroquieta, Misamis Occidental), by default, he chaired the committee for the Cebuano manuscripts for the NBDB Trust Fund author grants.
The only task we never got him to do, except once, was to deliver a speech. This rare occasion was at the Museo Pambata for the 2013 Little Lit Fest opening ceremony. He surprised us with his acceptance, but he got a bigger surprise from the NBDB who arranged for his only son, Rafa, then only seven, to introduce his father.
He was teased that his son in a white long sleeved shirt and a necktie was better dressed. Francis wore his signature white linen polo barong, always crisp and cool and yes, chic.
When he overheard some of us discussing what the board should wear for our formal annual report photo, he laughed and said, pointing to his white polo, “This is as good as it can get for me.”
Not that there was anything wanting in his attire, as his secret fans will attest. They have insisted on photo ops with him, claiming that he is a matinee idol lookalike. A few secretly called him Pretty Boy. To the rest of us, it was good enough that he could be a Rizal clone.
From that time on, after we saw for ourselves how articulate and precocious Rafa was, Francis would get a kick out of receiving constant invitations for Rafa mailed to his DepEd central office. Rafa became NBDB’s favorite panelist for child readers and was a likely choice for the board of reader judges for the first-ever Kids’ Choice Book Awards. That initial public appearance of Rafa also caught the attention of KidZania folks who promptly recruited him as one of their child models.
Fellow board member Karina Bolasco, heartbroken as the rest of us, remembers Francis and the “positive energies” he exuded from “how he carried himself in board meetings: straightforward, noncombative but firm, was always helpful in analyzing (not just financial) problems…. He never raised his voice, not once, yet the Board more often than not, followed that voice.” She last saw him along with his entire family at a recent Spanish guitar concert where Adrik, son of Che Cristobal and Dina Ocampo, performed. The families are close friends not only because of the DepEd but also because their sons were child judges for the Kids’ Choice Awards. It impressed Karina that the Varela family patiently stood at the back as there were no more seats, and when chairs were provided them, they did not bother to be in the VIP center rows in the Ayala lobby.
Thank you, Francis for the chance to work with you and allowing us to know you beyond your official government title.
How it pains to say goodbye.
By Neni Sta. Romana Cruz
Reintroducing the NBDB's services and provisions
Last August 14, 2015, a Kapihan Session was
held for the National Book Development Board’s registered individuals and
entities. The event was facilitated at the NBDB office in Ortigas Center, Pasig
City. The goals of the session are to reorient the NBDB registrants to the
policies and procedures and introduce the new amendments in the incentives and
services implemented and offered by the agency.
The four-part session started with the introduction
of the current state of the book publishing industry in the Philippines. In the
discussion, the stakeholders were made aware of the main industry players and
the abundance of local authors. NBDB Executive Director Ms. Graciela
Mendoza-Cayton also discussed the National Book Development Trust Fund grant
that is carried out every year to help authors develop and publish their
Incentives for registered stakeholders were
enumerated and discussed by Mr. Wilfred Castillo, NBDB
Director I. These incentives were tax- and duty-free importation of raw
materials and books, income tax holiday, National Book Development Trust Fund,
and endorsement of applications for registration with the BOI to avail
incentives under Executive Order 226 or the Omnibus Investment Code.
The Executive Order 226 or Omnibus
Investment Code is created to encourage investment in desirable areas of
activities. Ms. Melanie De Belen-Dingayan, a representative from the Board of
Investments, further explained the EO 226 and its application process.
According to her, it is mandated to accelerate the development of the national
economy and to support small and medium scale industries.
Atty. Rhia Aladin, NBDB Acting Director I,
briefed the attendees on the amendments of the rules and provisions of the
agency. One of these amendments is in regard of the registration process. New registrants
will only have to pay a one-time filing fee of Php 100.00 and annual registration
fee of Php 300.00 will be done annually. Individuals such as author/writer,
book translator, editor, illustrator/designer/lay-out artist, and literary
agent, are exempted from the registration fee however required documents must
be submitted annually for the renewal of registration.
The session concluded with a Q&A
portion and the presentation of the directions the NBDB will take in the next
NBDB’s first kapihan session: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152234569895498.1073741852.371941300497&type=3