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Publisher tells DedEp: Dismantle books monopoly in public schools

EDUCATION material company Rex Bookstore is hoping the new Education secretary can open up public schools to more companies like them.

Rex chairman Dominador Buhain said companies like them still find it hard to penetrate the education market because of monopolization despite the passage of the Book Act of the Philippines.

The law was passed to โ€œensure adequate supply of affordable and quality booksโ€ in the country.

Buhain, however, said monopolies still exist in schools. He said publishers like them can only sell their products locally to private schools and local government unit-funded educational institutions.

โ€œOur advocacy is to allow us to supply the public school market and we are continuously calling out to the government to have strict implementation on this,โ€ said Buhain.

Buhain, past president of the Asean Book Publishersโ€™ Association, wants a more free-flowing movement of books within countries in the region. He said members of his group want the governments of the different Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) countries to remove taxes on imported books.

In 2009, then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered the scrapping of taxes on imported books and reading materials.

The association, whose manual was drafted by Buhain, partners with member countries for co-publishing and selling of books.

Filipino books from Rex have been translated into different languages in more than thirty countries worldwide, including Jordan and Indonesia.

Rex, which was established in the early 1950s as a buy-and-sell shop for second-hand books, has grown into being one of the countryโ€™s largest publisher of local book titles.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 24, 2010.

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Monday, September 27, 2010 Business in Clark, News




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