IPOPHL says IP policies can help protect Ilonggo delicacies  and culture

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has lauded Iloilo City for gaining recognition as the first city in the Philippines to be recognized as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative City of Gastronomy.

“As a member of the Creative Industries Development Council, IPOPHL congratulates Iloilo City for putting yet another Philippine on the global map of creative destinations,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

The milestone puts Iloilo together with Baguio City and Cebu City, which were  named the country’s first UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art in 2017 and UNESCO Creative City of Design in 2019, respectively.

Barba urged Ilonggos and Ilonggas to continuously protect their gastronomic and cultural delights, as well as their vast pool of creative and innovative IP treasures. He noted that IPOPHL’s IP Satellite Office (IPSO) for the Western Visayas Region “was strategically located in Iloilo City to raise IP awareness in the economically thriving city and provide registration convenience for the highly competitive city.”

The strategy proved effective as IPOPHL data show that the IPSO Iloilo stood third in contributing the highest count in IP filings from 2016 to 2020. Following Davao with a 14.51% share and Cebu with a 14.35% share, Iloilo accounted for 13.89% of all 20,402 filings during the period.

The IPOPHL chief also expressed hopes to intensify collaboration with Iloilo to help its local government further embed a culture of IP respect and protection for its prized cultural assets.

Recently, IPOPHL held in Iloilo the Visayan stakeholders consultation on the draft international instruments on the protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions (GRTKTCE) and design which are being negotiated at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), seeing that Iloilo is a hotspot for creativity in the Visayas area, thus, could contribute meaningful insights to the discussion.

IPOPHL also lauded Iloilo’s provincial government as the first local government unit to pass an ordinance that complies with the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DIG) Memorandum Circular 2020-124, which mandates local offices to issue an ordinance that will allow, among others, the cancellation of business permits and other LGU-issued operational licenses of IP-violating shops.

Iloilo’s Resolution 2022-649 complies with DILG issuance as it bans the sale, rental, transfer, distribution, manufacture and/or production of pirated, non-compliant, counterfeit or fake goods or drugs/medicines and other purposes.

Barba encouraged Iloilo to ensure the “strong and consistent” enforcement of the ordinance and even adopt its own Anti-Counterfeit and Anti-Piracy Policies which will promote IP respect in the workplace.

“Having the ordinance is a first step to a robust IP system. But continuously ensuring that constituents abide by this policy and gain a culture of respect for IP will allow Iloilo to reap the economic rewards of advancing its creative IP assets while preserving its cultural heritage,” Barba added. (Janina Lim/IPOPHL)


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