Recognizing the Philippine printing and publishing industries’ potential to greatly contribute in the country’s economic growth, the government said it remains supportive in enabling the sectors to be more globally competitive.

The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the industry development and investments promotions arm of the Department of the Trade & Industry (DTI), organized the 13th Trade and Industry Development Updates recently at the Novotel Hotel in Quezon City aimed at crafting industry roadmaps for the printing and publishing sectors that will chart the directions, goals and strategies the industries will be heading to sustain development and growth.

“We are assembled here today to discuss the roadmaps and hopefully, come up with a collective vision that will allow these industries to further grow locally and eventually become a major participant in the international marketplace most especially now that the global market is evolving,” said BOI Director for Infrastructure and Service Industries Service Rafaelito Taruc who also assured key stakeholders of BOI’s support in all the undertakings of the industries including the implementation and monitoring of the plans laid out in the roadmaps.

The book publishing industry posted a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of .98% or PhP88.32 billion in value added (VA) in 2010. In 2014, output of the printing industry accounted for .30% of the total manufacturing output, or an average of .33% over the last ten years. These two industries have contributed significantly in generating employment in recent years. Core copyright industries (CBIs) generated 109, 654 jobs or 2.76% in 2010 alone.

Attended by various stakeholders in the printing and publishing industries, the proposed roadmaps for the sectors were discussed including a general situationer of the industries, strategies and targets, and current measures undertaken and areas where government support and interventions are needed to propel growth of the industries.

Mr. Rolando Allan Asi, President of Social Studies Publishing, Incorporated, presented the printing industry landscape. From 2009-2012, the printing industry’s trade-related activities consistently rise.  From 112,663 and 29,622 in 2009, the figures went up to 128,737 and 30, 813 in 2012 for both imports and exports, respectively. Impressive as it may seem, the stakeholders in the industry are casting their net wide to acknowledge weak linkages that need calculated actions and interventions.

Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores of Book Development Association of the Philippines discussed The Philippine Book Publishing Industry Roadmap. In the ASEAN region, the Philippines placed 8th in producing new titles published per million people per year. She identified driver of growth for the publishing industry during the presentation. These are education, demand and readership, and technology. With the implementation of K-12 program for basic education there will arise a tremendous opportunity for the printing and publishing sector in the Philippines. The Department of Education has allotted PhP3.4 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 faced with more competition such as electronic form or e-books and other digital formats. Technology, despite posing threats in the production of physical books, becomes another form of marketing and selling publications that it introduced new platform for publishers.

During the open forum, BOI Supervising Director for Industry Development Ma. Corazon Dichosa advised the stakeholders to designate their respective industry champions to whom an equivalent BOI sectoral champion 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. (END)