Ladies and gentlemen, a good day to everyone!

Thank you to our good friend, Director General Rowel Barba, and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), an attached agency of DTI, for inviting us to partner with them on their “Juan for the World” Program. IPOPHL continues to share the same passion the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has in empowering our micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMES) to create greater inclusive growth for our country.

We’re also glad to see our friends from the private sector taking part in the program. In particular, we’d like to recognize the presence of representatives from the Philippine Franchising Association (PFA), and the Philippine Retailers’ Association (PRA).  

This whole-of-society approach of IPOPHL’s newest program shows what we can achieve if we unite to help our MSMEs. Under this program, DTI and IPOPHL will work together to ensure eligible MSMEs can register their trademarks under the Madrid Protocol. And with the support of our private sector partners, MSMEs will gain the necessary technical and financial assistance needed with respect to branding, registration, and market access.

We should note that aside from trademarks, it is also important to ensure that there are continuous innovations, preferably R&D-based innovations that are market-driven.  Ideally, using or commercializing patentable discoveries must be in the realm of addressing consumer needs and should be marketable, which shall be key to success and to becoming smarter entrepreneurs.

DTI has always believed that an effective strategy in managing IP rights can increase the value of MSMEs. Given that this sector contributes significantly to the Philippine economy, IP in MSME growth strategies can hence generate more and higher-income jobs.

As such, we need to encourage the conversion of more Filipino ideas into commercial assets. DTI is continuously collaborating with IPOPHL in helping our MSMEs protect their IP assets. For example, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in October last year to mainstream IP in DTI’s services in the regions and provinces.

DTI and IPOPHL also partnered with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on a “Science and Technology Superhighway” Program through a Memorandum of Agreement signed in December 2020. This program will assist our entrepreneurs in bringing their innovations to commercial fruition while still safeguarding their IP rights.

What’s more, DTI is unceasingly working with IPOPHL to protect our entrepreneurs as well as our consumers through our continuous seizure and destruction of counterfeit products.

Meanwhile, we appreciate IPOPHL’s continued assistance of our MSMEs, most notably their “Juana Make a Mark” Program, which waives trademark application fees for enterprises founded by a woman or a group with at least one woman as a member.

Now, with IPOPHL’s “Juan for the World” Program, we hope to replicate here the Juana program’s success, but this time on a global scale.

We are glad that some friends from the private sector are committing to join us in supporting our MSMEs to become more globally competitive. I hope to see more partners in the months ahead.

By making our MSMEs, our primary engine for economic development, we can create a lasting impact on not only improving the quality of life but working towards more shared and inclusive prosperity for all Filipinos, as envisioned by our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat! ♦ 

Date of Release: 7 October 2021