17 November 2020 via Facebook Live

Ladies and gentlemen, magandang araw po sa inyong lahat.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) would like to thank the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for this collaboration on a more responsive Intellectual Property (IP) system. This Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the Science and Technology Superhighway program will surely help our entrepreneurs bring their innovations to commercial fruition, while also ensuring their IP rights are protected.

A balanced and effective IP system is one of the keys to inspiring innovations and is a metric for innovation progress as well. In the 2020 Global Innovation Index (GII), utility model filings were among the three main drivers to the Philippines’ four-notch hike from the previous ranking. This also raised the country’s ranking by 50 notches and enabled us to attain the 50th spot in the GII in just six years.

With the IP system as a gateway for new technologies, we need to enhance the environment of this part of the innovation supply network to accelerate the Philippines’ production of technologies. This, in turn, can offer solutions to society’s problems and impact global value chains, especially as our country deals with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as natural calamities like typhoons.

The Superhighway program will fulfill this goal by institutionalizing swifter application processes for innovators and entrepreneurs across patents, utility models, industrial designs, and trademarks. This program will also make government response more adaptable to our current and future innovation and economic needs.

Seeing our innovators commercially roll-out their works at the earliest possible time will allow them to see a faster return of capital and profits, enabling them to venture sooner on another socially-impactful innovation project. Speeding up the innovation cycle is a task the Philippines must undertake with urgency, especially in a pandemic that has accelerated technological trends and digital shifts. From this COVID-19 crisis, we have learned that those who are not technologically-ready will have to deal with a longer disruptive period as compared to those that have already taken the next steps.

In the long-term, a fast and responsive IP system would encourage the conversion of more Filipino ideas into commercial assets. This would make local innovation projects a sustainable and steady source of livelihood—as well as a potentially massive generator of higher-income jobs. More importantly, driving innovations through IP will help the Philippines break out from the assembly line, the lowest impact creator across global value chain components. This would also support our country’s climb in the curve for Filipinos to be the masterminds and master engineers of disruptive technological solutions.

This greater ambition can be achieved through a whole-of-nation approach, which is why the Superhighway program takes part in our broader Filipinnovation vision. Filipinnovation is

embedded in our Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (or i³S), which aims to grow globally innovative and competitive manufacturing, agribusiness, and services industries. This strategy also promotes policy coherence, data-driven priority-identification, and effective coordination and delivery of government programs and services.

Inspired by the concept of Bayanihan and inclusivity, Filipinnovation builds strong coordination mechanisms across the innovation ecosystem that spans the government, private sector, academe, legislators, and civic groups. That’s why we’ve put the Bayanihan goal of Filipinnovation at the foundation of i³S to reflect this collective approach and to ensure that all our people will benefit from our country’s innovation progress.

Admittedly, technological gaps, a wide digital divide, and the glaring lack of infrastructure in the country show us that there is a lot of work to be done. But by working together in a whole-of-nation approach, we will bridge these gaps while also improving innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. More importantly, this will boost our country’s economic recovery in the post-pandemic future while also helping us adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In closing, we again thank our partners in helping our innovators and entrepreneurs to register and protect their IP rights. As our Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) grow and become successful through their innovations, they will generate more jobs and employment for our countrymen. This is the real goal of all our efforts: to empower and enable our people so that they can have a better and more comfortable quality of life as promised President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat.♦

Date of Release: 23 November 2020