Mobile libraries for Davao’s far-flung villages mulled

Apr. 07, 2017

Pedrita Badar, Davao’s city librarian says they have submitted a P6-million proposal to the office of the City Mayor to purchase a new mobile library. In a press conference Thursday, April 6, Badar said they are targeting to have the mobile library by the end of 2017 in order to cater to more communities in the outskirts. (Paulo C. Rizal/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The City Librarian here announced that a P6-million proposal to purchase a new mobile library was already submitted to the office of the City Mayor.

Pedrita Badar, officer-in-charge of the City Library said an additional mobile library would cater to 25 more villages in the city. Badar said they are eyeing the purchase of the mobile library this year.

“We are happy that Mayor Inday (Sara Duterte) will be purchasing a new mobile library, by the end of this year. Gusto ni mayor na muextend sa community ang services nato” (The mayor wants to extend our services to [more] communities),Badar said.

Badar also disclosed that they are planning to buy at least two mobile libraries to serve all 182 villages of the city as ordered by Duterte.

A mobile library is a bus equipped with books, and other reading materials. Since 2013, the city outfitted the mobile libraries with television and sound systems, as well as laptops in response to the evolving technology.

Currently, the city has only one fully functional mobile library, which is making the rounds in 25 villages in the far-flung areas of the second and third congressional districts. The mobile library stays in one village for 14 days then caters to the next.

The farthest that the mobile library has served is in Brgy. DatuSalumay in Marilog District, which is 58.2 kilometers away from the city proper.

One other mobile library, which has a mechanical defect, is currently stationed in Calinan.

Elmer Amarillo, in-charge of the mobile library program, said they are aiming to bring literacy to the farthest villages.

They also plan to include electronic gadgets in the project to decrease the gap of computer literacy between the children from the hinterlands and the city proper.

Amarillo said they initially encountered resistance especially from poor children, but said the communities are gradually seeing the value of this technology.

“Nakita nako sa ilaha na they have that fear when it comes to technology. Kumbaga i-reject nila ba. Kay we don’t have that in our mountains, in our place, so why should we learn about that one” (I saw in them that they have this fear when it comes to technology. In other words, they reject it because they [think] they do not have to learn it because they find no use for it in the mountains), Amarillo said.

Meanwhile, Badar also announced that a memorandum of agreement for the modernization of the city library is also in the works. Under the modernization project, the public will gain access to e-books, e-journals and e-magazines previously available only to those who can purchase it.

Badar said the MOA may be finished in two months. (

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