Director IV of the National Library of the Philippines Cesar Gilbert Adriano has responded to public criticism after being referred to as the “national non-librarian” by netizens.
In a virtual meeting with the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture, Adriano concurred with what Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero said that there are only a handful of licensed librarians in the Philippines and that there is only a few educational colleges and universities offering librarianship courses in the provinces.
Adriano also moved that teachers and not just licensed librarians should also be allowed to head reading centers and public libraries.
Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians member Lourdes David corrected Adriano’s claim, saying that librarianship courses are offered in the provinces and not just in Metro Manila. She also cited Republic Act 9246 or “The Philippine Librarianship Act of 2003”, which states that only licensed librarians may be employed as librarians.
Adriano, who is not a licensed librarian, was appointed NLP head in 2018. During that year, the Office of the Ombudsman was tasked to investigate Adriano’s appointment, after the director of the Ateneo de Manila University’s Rizal Library filed a complaint.
On July 23, Thursday, Adriano issued a statement on his Facebook page, which has since been either taken down or set to private.
In his statement, Adriano expressed that he is very much aware of RA 9246, saying that “one does not need to be a licensed librarian” to be qualified to head the national library. He also noted that his statement was taken out of context, invalidating his achievements to improve the library’s facilities and services despite not having a license.
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