Considered as the founding chairman of the National Book Development Board (NBDB), Dominador D. Buhain has expressed excitement that after a quarter of a century since Republic Act 8047, the Book Publishing Development Act was enacted, the local publishing in-dustry has finally
taken off after a prolonged struggle. Recently, the National Book Development with support from the various stakeholders launched the first Philippine Book Festival (PBF) at the World Trade Center solely with participation of local book publishers.

Erstwhile Philbook chairman and PEPA president emeritus, Buhain told the book fair audi-ence that the passage of RA 8047 was a collaborative effort of his fraternity brothers at the Aqui-la Legis Fraternity led by Rep. Antonio Cerilles at that time. The law mandates that the publishing and distribution of text-books for use by public school students would be exclusively taken up by the
private sector but the intent was never executed. It was on-ly during the Duterte leadership, through the education secretary that this was achieved.

Buhain also credited the incumbent Marcos administration and vice-president Sara Duterte, the
concurrent education secretary, for giving “recognition to continue with what has been started by im-plementing fully RA 8047 particularly on the supply of textbooks to the public schools.” Another key event he cited was the appointment of Dante Klink’ Ang II as NBDB chair, and
Charisse Aquino-Tugade, as executive director, who were instrumental in bringing together the comic sector and other literary materials producers to become part of the Filipinization of the book publishing industry.

Prior to the recent successful book festival, the only time the NBDB was represented was during the
Frankfurt Bookfair. But the participation was tainted with dubious claims that the Board misappropriated funds in order to attend the foreign engagement. “Due to such development,” Buhain said, “personal funds were availed of in joining the succeeding Frankfurt Bookfairs and with the limited budget, oftentimes the booth was situated near the toilet or at a depressed area.”

NBDB, however, has been vindicated, and it now is admirably represented in Frankfurt, London, Sharjah Bookfairs and other noteworthy publishing engagements abroad. “Finally,” Buhain added,
“our struggle has ended as we have now a Filipinized bookfair through the incumbent leadership of the NBDB with the support of the stakeholders in collabo-ration with the Department of Education.”

Amianan Balita Ngayon