December 8, 2023

City Councilor Isabelo Cosalan Jr. has filed a proposed ordinance requiring all Baguio-based writers and publishers to provide the Baguio City Public Library copies of their published books within 30 days from the date of publication.
The proposed ordinance is in support of Presidential Decree 812, s. 1975 which provides the guidelines on the manner of collection of published printed materials in the country “to ensure their availability for posterity and cushion against unforeseen events and calamities.”
These collections of books deposited in public libraries, according to Cosalan, are of great value to readers, researchers, and scholars.
“The cultural heritage of the Filipino nation is manifested in, among others, a comprehensive national biography, the principal basis of which are the published and printed materials on legal deposit,” Cosalan wrote in his proposal.
Legal deposit is a legal requirement that an author or publisher provides copies of their publications to a repository, usually a library. 
Cosalan said access to legal deposit must be free “since its main objective is to serve the public interest.”
He said the ordinance shall support the libraries’ mission in promoting reading either as a hobby or for academic purposes, offering access to a wide array of information, and providing a haven for readers in their quest to discover new books.
“It has been a lengthy clamor and a long-cherished dream that these books penned in the city be deposited in the public library of the city for knowledge compensation and utilization,” Cosalan stated.
Under the proposed ordinance, the writer/publisher, within 30 days from the date of publication of their printed books, shall furnish the public library two copies free of charge.
All government offices, agencies, or departments in the city shall also be compelled to provide the public library two copies of any printed book published by them within the prescribed 30-day period.
This requirement, however, shall not apply to books that are copyrighted.
The city librarian shall keep a record of all materials, taking down important information such as the title of the book and the contents of the title page with a translation into the English language, the language in which the book is written, name of the author, translator, or editor of the book, and the subject matter.
The ordinance has been approved by the city council on first reading and referred to the committee on education, culture, creativity, and historical research for review. – Jordan G. Habbiling