• Print, publishing roadmaps eyed

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    RECOGNIZING the potential of the printing and publishing industries to greatly contribute to the country’s economic growth, the government is taking steps to help these sectors become more globally competitive.

    As part of such efforts, the Board of Investments (BOI), the industry development and investment promotions arm of the Department of the Trade and Industry (DTI), organized the 13th Trade and Industry Development Updates held recently at the Novotel Hotel in Quezon City.

    The consultation was aimed at crafting industry roadmaps for the printing and publishing sectors to chart the directions, goals and strategies they should take to sustain growth.

    The book publishing industry posted gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 0.98 percent or P88.32 billion in value added (VA) output in 2010. In 2014, output of the printing industry accounted for 0.30 percent of total manufacturing output, or an average of 0.33 percent over the last 10 years.

    The industries have contributed significantly in generating employment in recent years, with core copyright industries (CBIs) generating 109, 654 jobs, or 2.76 percent of the total generated, in 2010 alone.

    Rafaelito Taruc, BOI director for Infrastructure and Service Industries, assured key stakeholders of the BOI’s support in their undertakings, including implementation and monitoring of the plans laid out in the roadmaps.

    At the industry update, the proposed roadmaps for the sectors were discussed, including a general situation report of the industries, strategies and targets, and current measures undertaken, as well as areas where government support and interventions are needed to propel growth.

    Rolando Allan Asi, president of Social Studies Publishing, Inc., presented the printing industry landscape. He noted that both imports and exports of the sector have risen significantly from 2009 to 2012. However, he admitted that stakeholders in the industry are casting their nets wide to acknowledge weak linkages that need calculated action and interventions.

    Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores of the Book Development Association of the Philippines discussed the Philippine Book Publishing Industry Roadmap. She noted that in the Asean region, the Philippines ranks 8th in producing new titles published per million people per year.

    She said the growth drivers for the publishing industry are education, demand and readership, and technology.

    With the implementation of the K-12 program for basic education, she said there will arise a tremendous opportunity for the printing and publishing sector in the Philippines, especially since the Department of Education has allotted P3.4 billion for the purchase of various learning materials.

    Flores noted that demand and readership has not dropped despite the fact that books and printed materials are facing increased competition from e-books and other digital formats.

    She said that technology, despite posing a threat in the production of physical books, becomes another form of marketing and selling publications and has actually introduced a new platform for publishers.

    Ma. Corazon Dichosa, BOI supervising director for industry development, advised the stakeholders during the open forum to designate their respective industry champions to whom an equivalent BOI sectoral champion will be assigned to implement the roadmaps.

    “With this setup, we can eventually create technical working groups that will coordinate on the activities and workplans to be implemented based on the roadmaps,” she said, adding that funding support can also be provided under the BOI’s Manufacturing Resurgence Program.

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