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Salceda calls on publishers, printers to produce “more and better books

July 8th, 2021

Salceda calls on publishers, printers to produce “more and better books;” House economic recovery chair says book development industry crucial to economic development, can take advantage of CREATE Law

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) challenged the book development industry “to commit to producing more and better books on more subjects” in an address to the industry’s representatives during an event titled “Opportunities For Publishing And Printing Industries Under The CREATE Law” hosted on July 6 by the Board of Investments and the National Book Development Board.

Salceda stressed that the book development industry under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law will receive more incentives than they were able to obtain under the previous tax regime.

“As an incentivized domestic industry, book development will be entitled to 4-7 years of Income Tax Holidays, in addition to 5 years of enhanced deductions, 3 years of additional ITH for relocating from Metro Manila, and another 2 years of ITH if in an area recovering from disaster. Research and development, as should be a major expense of the industry, gets the highest enhanced deduction, at 200%,” Salceda highlighted.

“This is much better than the previous incentive regime, where the book industry could have received only 4 to 6 years of ITH,” Salceda added.

“The tools for the private sector are there. In Congress, I am also committed to expanding public spending to create the ecosystem needed to have a flourishing information sector.”

Better books crucial to economic development

However, Salceda also challenged the book industry to take advantage of the incentives to perform their “civic duty.”

“The World Bank estimates that the value of human capital, or the share of human capital in total wealth is 62 percent. This is four times the value of produced capital and 15 times the value of natural capital.”

“Countries globally recognize this reality. On average, countries spend around 20% of their national budgets and employ around 5% of their workforce in the education sector. However, while the inputs matter, outcomes matter more. This is where the book development industry will play a crucial role,” Salceda said.

“During a recent hearing by the House Committee on Education, we saw one possible explanation: Our instructional materials are of dismayingly poor quality. Books used in the public education system are substandard, because we do not spend enough on them, and we do not devote enough time to ensuring their quality. My proposal for a Learning Materials Development Center, under the UP School of Education, to act as a schoolbooks ombudsman of sorts, was adopted. But without corresponding efforts in the private sector, we can only achieve so much.”

“This is why we very strongly pushed to preserve the tax incentives for the book publishing sector under CREATE. We kept the book publishing industry VAT-exempt, and included electronic books in the exemption,” Salceda said.

Use tax incentives to produce better books

Salceda urged the industry’s representatives to use their generous tax incentives to produce better books to “shape a reading public.”

“The tax incentives for your sector are generous, but tax incentives alone do not make an industry fruitful. Talent and value-added do. I encourage the book development sector to invest in talent, invest in research, and invest in producing more. Your sector is vital to the future of our country. Producing more and better books is your civic duty,” Salceda said.

“I urge the book development sector to commit to producing more and better books on more subjects. I also urge the book development sector to work with me to craft legislation that will encourage authorship in this country,” Salceda added.

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