PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 687
FURTHER AMENDING THE TEXTBOOK LAW, ACT 2957 AS AMENDED, PROVIDING THE GUIDELINES IN THE SELECTION, APPROVAL, PRICING AND DISTRIBUTION OF SUITABLE TEXTBOOKS FOR USE IN PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, the Board of Textbooks performs the vital function of selection and approval of textbooks for use in all public elementary and secondary schools, including the approval of textbooks used in private elementary and secondary schools;
WHEREAS, in order to perform this function effectively and properly, it is necessary that the Board be composed of persons with the highest competence, dedication and integrity, with authority to avail of such technical assistance as may be necessary to insure proper evaluation of manuscripts and the selection and adoption of quality textbooks for use in the public schools;
WHEREAS, the objective of selection and production of quality textbooks can be achieved by allowing open and free competition in the submission of manuscripts by qualified writers and the production thereof by duly registered bona fide publishers, encouraging at the same time the production of textbooks by competent research staffs in government-organized curriculum research and development centers;
WHEREAS, the assessment of production costs of any textbook adopted by the Board for the purpose of determining prices at which textbooks can be sold at the minimum cost requires the adoption of a scheme whereby a fair and just appraisal thereof can best arrived at;
WHEREAS, a degree of control in the actual procurement and allocation of textbooks needed in the field should be exercised by the Board to insure the equitable distribution thereof based on needs;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree to be part of the laws of the land, the following:
Section 1. The Board of Textbooks created under the provision of Act 2957 as amended is hereby renamed the Textbook Board. The Board shall be composed of seven (7) members as follows: A Chairman and four (4) members appointed by the President upon recommendation of the Secretary of Education and Culture, the Director of Elementary Education and the Director of Secondary Education. The Chairman and the other four (4) members appointed by the President, one of whom shall represent the cultural minority, shall serve a term of three (3) years, except that of the four first appointed, two (2) shall serve a term of three (3) years and the other two (2) for a term of two (2) years. Any vacancy in the Board shall be filled by the appointment by the President but the person so appointed shall serve only for the unexpired term. No person shall be appointed to the Board unless he is a citizen of the Philippines, with at least a master’s degree or its equivalent in terms of professional experience, status and achievements.
Section 2. The Textbook Board shall have a Secretariat composed of personnel as are now provided under the Integrated Reorganization Plan.
Section 3. The Board may avail itself, at any given time, of such number of qualified personnel from the public or private sector to perform the function of appraisal of manuscripts submitted for evaluation and selection by authors or by duly registered book publishers. They shall be entitled to such honorarium for their services for such amount per title as may be determined by the Board.
Section 4. The Board shall determine and adopt its own guidelines or rules and regulations for their operational procedure. It shall adopt such policies as will insure a fair and objective appraisal of manuscripts submitted to it for evaluation, the criteria for the final selection and approval as textbooks and a policy on continuing evaluation of those approved and adopted by the Board. It shall likewise undertake studies from time to time on the textbook situation in the country, seek ways and means for their production at minimum cost, and adopt policy guidelines in the allocation and distribution of textbooks in accordance with the procurement program of the Department of Education and Culture.
Section 5. The policy of free enterprise on the matter of allowing the submission of manuscripts by writers or duly registered publishers for possible selection and adoption as textbooks shall be without prejudice to the automatic adoption by the Board of any treatise, textbook or manual on the same subject prepared by agencies authorized by the government; Provided, however, that in the case of the latter, the printing or production thereof shall be farmed out to qualified textbook publishers or printers under such guidelines as may be prescribed by the Board.
Section 6. The manuscript thus selected and approved by the Board, in accordance with Sec. 5 hereof, shall be printed in such number of copies and under such guidelines as the Board may direct, such copies to be used for determining the reasonable price at which the book shall be purchased by the government, provisions of existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding. For this purpose, there shall be created by the Secretary of Education and Culture, a Price Committee consisting of three (3) members, one Board member representing the Board as Chairman, one representing the Philippine Educational Publishers Association and one representing the Bureau of Printing. The Committee shall hold its meetings on the date set by the Board which shall be in the nature of a public hearing, allowing expert testimony therein in order to arrive at an acceptable estimate of production cost for any given textbook. The determination of the “mark-up” in percent over the production cost for any textbook to insure a reasonable profit for publishers and at the same time insuring the minimum procurement cost for the government shall be determined by the Board.
Section 7. It shall be unlawful for the Board to consider for adoption any treatise textbook or manuscript in whose authorship, editorship or preparation a member of the Board may have direct or indirect interest. It shall, likewise, be unlawful for any member of the Board during the period of his incumbency to own directly or indirectly any interest whatsoever in any firm, partnership or corporation on publishing or dealing in school textbooks.
Section 8. Except in exceptional case as may be determined by the Board, the textbooks selected and approved shall be used for a period of at least six (6) years from the date of their adoption. Private schools recognized or authorized by the Government shall, as much as possible, use textbooks approved by the Board. The Board shall have the power to prohibit the use of any textbook in private schools other than those approved by the Board, which it may find to be against the law or offensive to the dignity and honor of the Government and people of the Philippines or which it may find to be against the general policies of the government or which it may find as pedagogically unsuitable.
Section 9. The Board shall, as a matter of policy encourage the writing of textbooks for Philippine schools by Filipino authors using such Philippine sources of subject material as will develop in pupils and students a deeper sense of nationalism, respect for Philippine institutions and appreciation of our cultural heritage.
Section 10. For administrative purposes, the Textbook Board shall be directly under the Office of the Secretary of Education and Culture. The Chairman of the Board shall have authority, with the approval of the Department Head, to obtain the technical assistance of such personnel from any department, bureau or office of the government which may be considered necessary for the proper performance of its duties, with compensation for their services as may be determined by the Board.
Section 11. Members of the Board shall be entitled to an allowance of One Hundred (P100.00) Pesos per meeting actually attended but not exceeding Four Hundred (P400.00) Pesos a month, exclusive or reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses incurred in attendance of meetings and other official business authorized by resolution of the Board.
Section 12. The sum of One Hundred Thousand (P100,000.00) Pesos or so much thereof as may be necessary shall, in addition to the regular annual appropriations for the operation and maintenance of the Textbook Board, be appropriated annually from funds of the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated to carry out the provisions of this Decree.
Section 13. All laws, decrees, executive orders or existing rules and regulations contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
Section 14. The Decree shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 22nd day of April, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-five.
(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President of the Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) ALEJANDRO MELCHOR
Source: Malacañang Records Office