Book Publishing Lacks Economies of Scale
Byline: BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
The government was not remiss in granting incentives to the book publishing industry but the lack of economies of scale was the underlying factor that hindered the growth of this local business.
Board of Investments managing head Elmer C. Hernandez, who is also a member of the National Book Development Board (NBDB), cited the latest survey which showed a poor 22 percent readership among Filipinos.
We dont have the economies of scale. If we have a small domestic market, then production is going to be very expensive, Hernandez said.
To encourage investments and modernization in the book publishing sector, the BoI has continued listing this area including reprinting in the Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) even if there was no taker.
These incentives include income tax holidays, a minimum one percent duty on imported capital equipment, and tax and dutyfree importation of raw materials to be used in book publishing.
So far, there are over 50 mainstream book publishers mostly publishing textbooks with an annual gross sales of R2 billion a year.
Last year, there were 5,570 titles printed an improvement from the previous years of 5,193 titles printed.
Aside from the problem of economies of scale, the local book publishing industry has suffered from a depreciating peso against the dollars.
Ma. Alegria Bing Limjoco of the Phoenix Publishing and also an NBDB governor, said the private sector has to absorb the higher cost of printing.
This year alone, being an election year, is difficult us to get papers. …