R.A. No. 7743, AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CONGRESSIONAL, CITY AND MUNICIPAL LIBRARIES AND BARANGAY READING CENTERS THROUGHOUT THE PHILIPPINES, APPROPRIATING THE NECESSARY FUNDS THEREFORE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7743
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CONGRESSIONAL, CITY AND MUNICIPAL LIBRARIES AND BARANGAY READING CENTERS THROUGHOUT THE PHILIPPINES, APPROPRIATING THE NECESSARY FUNDS THEREFORE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Section 1. Declaration of Policy. - It is hereby declared the national policy to promote the moral and intellectual well-being of the people: elevate the literacy level of every Filipino to the end that illiteracy is eradicated by the end of the century; and recognize the vital role of knowledge and information in nation-building by establishing public libraries in every congressional district, city and municipality, and reading centers in every barangay throughout the Philippines.

Section 2. Establishment of Public Libraries and Reading Centers. - The National Library in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall undertake the establishment of additional public libraries to serve all congressional districts cities and municipalities in the Philippines and reading centers in every barangay except in cities or municipalities where there are existing public libraries or in barangays where there are existing reading centers: provided, that the establishment of such libraries and reading centers shall be based on the development program of the National Library, in coordination with the development council of each city or municipality and in the case of the barangay reading centers in coordination with the respective barangay councils: provided further, that where these public libraries and reading centers already exist the National Library shall continue to upgrade the facilities thereof.

The National Library shall continue to coordinate and organize seminars, workshops and other trainings for the professional benefit of librarians.

Section 3. Role of the National Library. - The National Library shall provide the standard set of reference books and other materials such as but not limited to encyclopedias, dictionaries, maps and globes upon the establishment of the libraries. The National Library shall continue to supply the public libraries with the other books, non-book materials, equipment supplies and other appropriate and relevant reference and reading materials taking into consideration the needs of the community concerned.

Section 4. Site. - The establishment of the public libraries and reading centers shall be an integral part of the development plan of each local government unit: provided, that barangays shall provide the site for barangay reading centers.

Section 5. Period of Implementation. - The overall national plan of implementation shall cover initially a period of five (5) years: provided, that those congressional districts, cities and municipalities with no existing public libraries as well as barangays situated in remote, isolated and rural areas, shall have priority in the allocation of resources.

Within one hundred twenty (120) days from the effectivity of this Act, the National Library in consultation with the DILG, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the different local government units, shall come out with the list of priority areas, taking into account the commitment of the local government units in the establishment and maintenance of public libraries and barangay reading centers.

Section 6. Functions of the Public Libraries and Barangay Reading Centers. - The public libraries and barangay reading centers shall have the following functions:

a) to make available to the members of the community reading materials of wide array including reading materials prescribed by the Department of Education Culture and Sports and national newspapers of general circulation and others;

b) to be used as a venue for audio-visual presentation in the community and other kinds of exhibitions and activities aimed at increasing the literacy rate by government agencies, non-governmental organizations or private entities in the dissemination of information of general interest; and

c) to offer such other related services in the furtherance of this Act.

Section 7. Appropriations. - The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be included in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law and for the next five (5) years; thereafter, the local government units shall undertake the maintenance of public libraries and reading centers while the National Library shall continue to provide reading materials and supplies to the said libraries and reading centers.

Section 8. Submission of Reports. - Within ninety (90) days from the approval of this Act, and at the end of every calendar year thereafter the Director of the National Library shall submit progress reports to each House of Congress on the implementation of this Act.

Section 9. Rules and Regulations. - Within sixty (60) days from the approval of this Act, the National Library, in coordination with the DILG and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations.

Section 10. Repealing Clause. - All acts, presidential decrees, executive orders and issuances inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.

Section 11. Separability Clause. - If any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or inoperative, the other provisions not so declared shall remain in force and effect.

Section 12. Effectivity Clause. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

Approved, June 17, 1994.