ACCEPTANCE SPEECH AS ABPA’S PRESIDENT
AND PLAN OF ACTIONS FOR 2007-2009
Atty. Dominador D. Buhain
(Delivered on August 29, 2007, at Traders Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City on the occasion of his election as President of ASEAN Book Publishers Association (ABPA)
• EXPRESSION OF THANKS AND GRATITUDE
First, I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Thanachai Santichaikul for the successful turn-over of the leadership of ABPA to your representation.
Second, I wish to express my thanks to the leaders of the various associations in the Philippines engaged in publishing, printing, writing, bookselling and other related activities for witnessing this momentous event not for myself alone but more importantly for our country.
• ACCEPTANCE OF RESPONSIBILITIES
I accept, with humility and pride, the responsibility of being the President of ABPA commencing at this moment until my term ends in August 2009 to transfer the mantle of leadership to the chief delegate of the country-member Malaysia (if I’m not mistaken).
With humility, as your President, I am duty-bound to implement the objectives of ABPA pursuant to Rule I of our Constitution and By-Laws.
Subject to the limitations laid down under Rule I of the Constitution and By-laws, I shall abide by the policies decided upon by majority of the member-countries as well as to have control and supervision on the ABPA Secretariat here in the Philippines during my term.
• RATIONALIZATION OF ABPA’S EXISTENCE
Premised on the rapid development of information technology together with the more than 500 million inhabitants in the ASEAN region, we anticipate that we should not only be recipient of information, technology, creativity, innovations, and other changes from the countries in Europe and the United States of America but we should contribute effectively as well for the betterment of the lives of mankind in general and ASEAN people in particular.
Consistent with the objective of ABPA, let us not allow bureaucratic obstacles which include time-consuming investigations impede the free-flow of information pursuant to the Florence Agreement and the Freedom of Expression embedded in our Constitution and By-Laws, subject of course to existing laws peculiar to every country.
It is best that the markets forces and at the lowest level dictate the appropriate courses of action as nobody has the monopoly of knowledge.
Frequent interactions with the Asean member-representatives during the preceding two years, somehow develop the trust and confidence and loyalty to one another to form what is perceived as an Asean cooperation.
It was tested in one of the meetings of a bigger association when the desire of the highly developed countries was not realized because of the opposition of the Asean cooperation.
Of course, objectively and truth must at all times prevail and not regional preferences.
• PLAN OF ACTIONS FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS
With the legal infrastructures set-up, ties and friendships developed, it is hoped that the following programs would be realized in the next two (2) years through the following ABPA’S Working Committees:
- Legal, Copyright and Licensing Committee:
- Recognition of ABPA as ASEAN Accredited Civil Society Organization.
- Matrix of Comparison of Member-Countries’ Legal Infrastructure Including Copyright, National Book Policy and other related documentations as bases of legislative proposal to the respective governments or Asean policy enactments (on the assumption that ABPA would be recognized by the ASEAN) with the view of establishing uniformed “best practices” in the region.
- Book Fairs, International Fora and Foreign Affairs Committee
- To continue what has been initiated by the former President of ABPA, Mr. Thanachai like attendance in international book fairs, holding of fora on publishing, ABPA meetings, establishing beautifully designed and respectable pavilions that would accommodate ASEAN publications and other promotional activities like book launching, presentation of “ten” books of each country and other innovations;
- Establishment of ABPA’s website and newsletter;
- Co-Publishing, Translation and Distribution Rights Committee
- Preparation of an Asean Directory of book publishers and booksellers;
- Development of bibliographic data base of authors and their works with information on market profitability and the identification of popular works for various markets; e.g. fiction, comic books, etc. for possible translation, adaptation, reprinting, licensing or co-publishing;
- Undertaking of market surveys to develop better, high quality market coverage with the view of reducing marketing costs;
- Promotion of reading habits in an ASEAN-wide basis;
- Institutionalization of ASEAN Awards for writers, translators, distributors, publishers and other appropriate recipeints.
- Training and Development Committee
- Participation on ASEAN exchanges on technical and educational cooperation and training.
- Exchanges of seminars and trainings among member-countries’ associates and employees on book publishing, printing, distribution, editing and related activities.
Finally, it is hoped that the ABPA as a body or through its individual members would be able to convince Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar to be formally admitted to ABPA and actively participate in our activities.
• CONCLUDING REMARKS
These are our goals. Let us therefore join hands and exert efforts for the realization of the same.
If we are united, our ultimate goal which is “the enhancement of business profitability in book publishing in the region” will not be an impossible dream.
Thank you very much. Maraming Salamat po.