Good morning.

Thank you very much, DG Rowel. Palakpalan natin si DG Rowel at ang kanyang team, DDG Del, DDG Nelson, at ang mga Directors for the amazing work done in the field of IPO.

Ito na yata ang pinakamalakas at pinakamagaling na report na narinig ko sa IPO. Congratulations po sa IPO. Napakagaling. We heard a lot of innovations. We heard a lot of trailblazing activities that IPOPHL has done and for that you really deserve another round of applause.

It’s an honor to be here, thank you for the invitation. Again, maraming salamat and it’s good to hear doon pa lang sa start ng iyong report, 12% increase in applications and I heard that in the different segments may 100% increase. Dito sa applications for intellectual property rights for 2021, 12% increase. This means that more companies, especially ‘yung campaign ninyo sa micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), ‘yung ‘Juana Make a Mark’, ‘yung parang Juana Change talagang napakalakas and catchy and I will really encourage you to continue that.

Ang importante dito, we include also in the DTI side the way we try to empower MSMEs. As you know, ang aming passion naman po sa DTI, kasama sa pamilya ang IPOPHL, is really to create smarter entrepreneurs. Hindi lang regular negosyante, smarter. Anong ibig sabihin n’yan? Kahit ‘yung mga micro they should really plan and think of how they can make their businesses bigger. Anyone of us can open a business pero lalaki kaya ‘yung business na ito? Lalago kaya? How can we make a difference? Normally we can make a difference by having an IP and having something different in your business models, in your product offerings, and we always push for innovation. When we talk of innovation, IP talaga ang kadikit n’yan.

And of course, to me, IP is the highest form of innovation kasi i-reregister mo, you are the first in line, you’re the pioneer in patent. Your efforts in IPOPHL on creating that awareness, that ‘Juana Make a Mark’ is truly very effective. Effective, catchy, and really raise consciousness.  It is important, the awareness, consciousness will really empower MSMEs to include this in their business models. How can they continuously innovate? We’ve always said that whether there’s pandemic or not, the fact that they are increasing competition, players in your respective business, in your industry, maiiwan ka kapag walang innovation. That is the least required for all businesses, that continuous innovation so we really emphasize the need for that.

Again, I congratulate IPOPHL for all the initiatives and many recognitions that you are already getting. Your contribution to society is important in really increasing consciousness, awareness and more importantly the know-how. In the DTI also parati kong nako-compare kasi pareho ‘yung gusto nating maabot—the MSMEs which accounts for 99.6% of enterprises. They account for 70% of employment but they only account for 38% of GVA. Itong 38% of GVA this is where innovation can come in, we want them. They account for high numbers in enterprise, in employment, pero bakit hindi naka-match doon sa percentage contribution, only 38%. Dapat ‘yan nasa mga at least 50%, so the challenge is how can we increase value adding in MSME activities in their production.

In developed countries, it’s about 50% to 55% ang contribution ng MSMEs. It’s relatively the same ratio in terms of number of enterprises na MSMEs, percentage contribution to their employment, it’s almost similar as ours nagkakaiba lang sa GDP contribution. Therefore, the challenge continues, that we really need to empower and enable MSMEs in terms of capabilities.

Indeed, the business sector is on the road to recovery from the economic challenges of the past two years, we are now seeing the results of the economic reform measures and the efficient management of the pandemic.  We’re happy to say you are all witnessing the drastic and continuous reduction of COVID cases. We’ve heard the Delta, Omicron, of course nag-umpisa sa Alpha, Beta. But I guess the overall learnings here is that the Philippines, the IATF, of course under the leadership of President Duterte, I would say made the rights calls.

Una talaga, we value lives, hanggang ngayon ‘yung lives and health took primacy sa ating decision-making kaya talagang we have to do the lockdowns, we buy more time with our healthcare facilities. But right after na i-establish ‘yun, immediately kami po sa IATF at mga ibang kasama natin really pushed for the reopening of the economy.

Early stage, we’re talking of maybe we started March 2020 ‘yung lockdown, second half pa lang ng 2020 we really pushed for opening where we can. We have been talking about safe reopening, gradual, talagang calibrated because we did not want and until now we do not want a resurgence that is what we are trying to avoid. And fortunately, I guess, we are seeing the result—a well-balanced set of protocols to protect lives and also livelihood and therefore in 2021 we saw the results. Third quarter 7.1% GDP growth, fourth quarter 7.7% growth, average for the full year 5.6%, surpassed the 5% to 5.5%. Ang ganda ng resulta natin, we can see that we really recovered. We’re almost there at the 2019 GDP level, since we reached 5.6% in 2021, we computed that we only need about 4.8% this year—2022. But you know the growth target is about 6% to 7% and I think we have that momentum and we’re seeing that Omicron ascended at talagang tuluy-tuloy na ‘yung recovery. In fact, this afternoon we have an IATF, pag-uusapan kung Alert Level 1 na ba, the most often talked topic now and everybody would like to be in Alert level 1 and pati rin tayo syempre sa business sector gusto naman natin ever since.

Frankly, what I have been saying lang is where we are right now, I think we are quite successful in reopening already. If we talk of Alert Level 2, we’ve opened all sectors already. Para sa akin, symbolic na lang ‘yung Alert Level 1. If we talk of right now, all sectors are open, nagkakaiba lang sa operating capacity but everything outdoor is 100%, the indoor is almost 80%. But when you go out, kung madami daming tao napupuno rin ‘yung restaurant, I think 80% to 90% din ‘yan. What I’m saying is that it’s pretty much open but what we should highlight always, whether still Alert Level 4, Alert Level 1, the economic recovery will continue, the people will have to continue to follow the minimum health protocol. What we will probably just adjust would be some protocols on ‘yung mga acrylic barriers, maybe the social distancing, in a way will not be too relevant but we try to keep it as much as possible. You can already see, even in transportation, basta naka mask allowed naman ‘yung magkakatabi hindi na sinusukatan ng one meter ‘yan. May mga ganoong adjustments. Ito ang palalakasin natin, iistriktuhan, at iimplement natin ‘yung ventilation. So ang matitira diyan ‘yung mask, hugas, vaccination very important pa rin for continuous immunity and ventilation. ‘Yung sa ventilation we basically fine-tuned further ‘yung measures that we will have to take, very clear, we simplify, and make it stricter. That’s what we’ll do in ventilation. For example, in rooms like this, how many air purifiers we should have at least para makita lang, visible, mabilis ma-check. Hepa filter requirement or we let the door and windows open where and when we can. Protocols will just be adjusted in the same way that we move quarantine protocols. So nakikita ninyo ‘yung the way IATF has moved, calibrated. Ibig sabihin, nakadikit sa Alert Level to the extent ‘yung protocols can be adjusted, inaadjust na.

We’re talking of the recovery, which we believe will still continue especially itong taon na ito. As mentioned, we just need 4.8% to hit the 2019 GDP level. ‘Pag tinanong, ‘yung recovery ba makuha na ngayon? Yes, we’ve started last year but we will be back 2019 level this year, maybe second quarter once we attain P19.3-T GDP level, maybe on the third quarter. ‘Yun ‘yung GDP level noong 2019, pre-pandemic.

Back to the IPOPHL, better, more focused, collaborative, and effective campaigns against counterfeiting, ang ganda noong report kanina maraming nahuhuli and piracy through the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), exemplifying a whole of government approach, inter-agency po ‘yan which has been recognized here and abroad and now considered a best practice even by the USTR and our ASEAN neighbors. Ito po ‘yung mga sina-cite ko lang na talagang kailangan ma-congratulate ang IPOPHL.

Then pushing forward the meaning of knowledge-based economy through your framework on the IP cycle: ideation, creation, protection, utilization, commercialization, and enforcement. Even ‘yung commercialization of IP is included in the SIPP, ‘yung Strategic Investment Priorities Plan which is part of the CREATE law. You’ve heard of CREATE which is Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises. ‘Yung commercialization of IP has been made Tier 3, nasa maximum in terms of sectors kasi mga new technologies, supposedly. They should enjoy ‘yung Tier 3 incentives kasi from Tier 1, 2, 3 humahaba ‘yung income tax holidays (ITH) from four years to maximum of six years.

On the other dimension, ‘yung geographic, the farther you are from urban centers or Metro Manila, it adds years also. The maximum for ITH is actually seven years. In that categorization, you can even reach seven-year ITH. These policies will definitely encourage more activities in this scale, commercialization of IP.

The integration of IP in the curriculum, bata pa lang tuturuan na natin ng IT, of our tri-focalized education system: basic education, technical education and higher education. And eventually a significant driver for national development in our culture and national psyche. ‘Yun ‘yung binanggit ni DG Rowel na even on creative industries ang daming pinag-uusapan ngayon, pino-promote natin at magkakaroon rin ng batas and IP plays a very important role in that field on how can we protect the patent, the copyrights nung mga artists.

  • Refining and putting order and respect for IP in our ever-growing digital economy as we relate with global economies.
  • Evolve and use IP as a tool for interacting with other countries and states, influencing our foreign relations, especially in the ASEAN region, neighboring countries like Korea, Japan, Australia and beyond. In fact, we have integrated ang usapang IP sa mga FTA agreements just like in RCEP, respect and adherence to mga IP groups na they are also included in more comprehensive and high-quality trade arrangements that we enter into.
  • Integrating IP in the development of our LGUs which use it to drive their local economies through GI (geographic indications), ‘yung mga Guimaras mango, Cordillera coffee, mga Yakan weaves. May geographic protection na tayong tinitignan ngayon, and their local creative capacities or as you call them, yamang-isip (creations of the mind).
  • Using IP, also, as catalyst for intergovernmental collaborations such as the DOST, DICT, and by fueling the work of our National Innovation Council (NIC). The Council that will be strengthened further because even in the Ambisyon 2040, it was drafted by many agencies led by NEDA, nakapasok talaga ‘yung innovation and IT development and protection. Intangible assets like IP will be key for the country to rebuild and make it stronger both on the innovation front and the creativity front.

For the creative economy, we see the urgency to protect our creative industries especially as we are fast moving into a fully digitalized economy. IPOPHL has DTI’s back in advancing the creatives of copyright-based industries, from helping copyright and related right holders understand how to protect their IP effectively to the legislative side so we can have an IP Code more responsive to our digital era. That’s the reason why recently nagkaroon ng EO, ‘yung FBCP has been placed under DTI also for reasons for IP, for reasons of film industry as an industry that needs to be promoted and needs to developed further. ‘Yun ‘yung mga related developments in this regard.

With IPOPHL as a fellow member of the National Innovation Council, we hope to create a robust IP regime that can accelerate our innovation progress, and therefore our goal of reaching high-income status. As we double down on supporting startups, we are collaborating with IPOPHL in helping startups develop their patent strategies to strengthen their competitiveness locally and globally.

In the end, we are after pushing for an inclusive, innovative industrialization that will help poverty alleviation and solve inequality, and bring prosperity for all. This is our contribution, lahat tayo jointly, to the future of the Philippines.

Once again. My heartfelt congratulations on the good news of increased filings and good luck on your initiatives and projects for 2022 and beyond. Moreover, we look forward to your agency’s celebration of your 25th Silver Anniversary this year.

Maraming salamat po, mabuhay po ang IPOPHL, mabuhay po ang Pilipinas, at mabuhay tayong lahat. ♦

Date of Release: 24 February 2022