Women: The force behind National Book Store

WHAT started out as a small stall in Escolta in the mid 1940s has now become an organization of 2,500 employees in over 128 branches—including NBS express mini stores—nationwide.

Taking pride in its role as an institution that “supports education and enhances lives,” National Book Store remains, perhaps, the only book store that has name recall even among kids.

Who are the frontliners of National Book Stores (NBS)? These are women who work 12 hours a day, six days a week.  Not that they are complaining.

They are, in fact, very thankful for their competitive salaries, overtime pay and other benefits, including unlimited Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) hospitalization coverage, for instance, accommodation in a private hospital room costing nowhere below P2,000 a day.

Management is also providing free schooling (including free lunch, snacks, free flowing coffee and beverages) for the completion of a bachelor’s degree in private and public administration to 38 managers and assistant managers from different NBS branches in Luzon, even if this means having to sacrifice the only work-free day in the week reserved for family and loved ones for an 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. class every Saturday.

For these women who have helped provide for the needs of its “Laking National Book Store” clientele over 60 years (who hasn’t got any item in their house from NBS, anyway?), a free day out to appreciate the fruits of their labor (and taxes) is but a fitting tribute.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 12, these 38 women managers will be given the opportunity to be treated with a guided tour of the Senate of the Philippines, to observe the plenary session, and to have their pictures taken with the senators whom they have voted into office.

They might also be lucky enough to have the chance to meet Ms Shamcey G. Supsup who will be invited to the session by Senator Koko Pimentel, author of Senate Resolution No. 599, a resolution commending Shamcey “for honoring the Philippines with a third runner-up finish in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant, and for demonstrating before the world the beauty and intelligence of Filipino women.”

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