‘Mobile libraries will encourage citizens to read again’ PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 May 2014 13:54

People who love to read but could not afford to buy books may soon have access to reading materials.

Two lawmakers have filed a bill, which seeks to create mobile libraries to bring these facilities closer to the users and encourage citizens to once again read books and other useful and informative materials.

House Bill 2644, otherwise known as the “Mobile Libraries Act of 2013,” is in compliance with the policy of the State to protect and promote the right of citizens to quality education and to take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.

Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) said the objective of the bill is to give meaning and accord full significance to the constitutional provision by promoting one of the most significant aspects of education, which is reading.

Arroyo, who authored the bill together with his mother, Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga), said the same thing could be achieved through the creation of mobile libraries.

“The mobile library is a service or an activity of many types of libraries. It is settled to facilitate users who find it inconvenient to go to the library because of the distance, time, expense, lack of knowledge on library, and the lack of reading habit,” Arroyo said.

The measure appropriates PHP100 million from the combined earnings of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for the creation of mobile libraries.

The bill provides that budgetary support must be continued for seven years or longer upon reasonable determination of the usefulness, relevance and effectiveness of mobile libraries as tools for education and empowerment of citizens.

Under the bill, the National Library of the Philippines shall be the main government agency to implement the provisions of this Act ad shall consult relevant and concerned private and public offices, non-government organizations, members of the academe and local government leaders on matters that will best promote and implement the establishment of mobile libraries and its effective utilization.

The Department of Finance is mandated under the bill to issue the relevant guidelines that will provide fiscal and tax incentives to private companies, organizations and foreign donors that will adopt, donate or establish mobile libraries in the country.

Mobile libraries can be used to sponsor and conduct book weeks, book fairs, book clubs, recognition rites for frequent borrowers, displaying new books and featured selections/collections, exposition of library’s instruction programs, among others.

Likewise, mobile libraries can also engage in sponsoring livelihood programs, walking tours of historic and cultural heritage areas, socio-economic workshops and trainings and others, as provided under this Act.

“The library is one institution that serves as the gateway to the past, the present and the future. In the library, one can find the resources to examine and confront our most difficult problems. Libraries provide individuals the weapons to hurdle obstacles and the remarkable power to change,” Arroyo said.