Ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat.

Thank you very much to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) for inviting us to be part of your Grand Forum.

Hindi po maikakaila ang halaga ng intellectual property at ng ating Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (o MSMEs) sa recovery ng ating ekonomiya dahil sa COVID-19 pandemic. Kaya naman nakalatag ang enhancement ng Intellectual Property (o IP) knowledge ng ating MSMEs under the “We Recover as One” strategy recommendations ng Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Sa Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), parte din po ang IP sa ating recovery strategy para sa mga businesses. Our REBUILD Strategy, which stands for “Revitalizing Businesses, Investments, Livelihoods, and Domestic Demand,” is geared towards conquering the economic challenges brought by COVID-19.

For example, sa pagbangon ng ating struggling creative sector, which includes software development, gaming, animation, film, music and graphic design activities among others, importante ang usaping copyright. We also pursue greater heights for our design-oriented sectors like furniture, and we will surely talk about industrial design. In innovation and tech, discussions will inevitably revolve around patents and utility models. Sa usaping branding naman, nandiyan ang trademarks kung saan active registrants ang ating MSMEs. Para mabigyan ng value ang mga produckto ng mga MSMEs, kailangan maprotektahan ang value ng IP nila. So kailangan mag-register sila

As previously discussed, we’ve seen how a fast and responsive IP system could make local innovation and creativity projects a sustainable and steady source of livelihood in the long-term. This, in turn, will create more jobs and employment opportunities that will benefit our people and boost our country’s economic growth in the post-pandemic future.

Despite IP’s importance, the awareness of IP remains low among MSMEs. That is why importante ang ganitong mga forum to broaden the acceptance and understanding on the importance of IP. Ang halaga ng business ay nakadepende sa IP na pag-aari niya. Diyan po talaga kumukuha ng malaking valuation. In a busness, kapag ‘yan po ay nagkaroon ng mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the future. Kapag binigyang value ang equipment o makinarya, nag-depreciate na ‘yan at wala na halos halaga. Mataas ang value sa brand, na dapat ikaw ay may-ari, base sa market share mo.

DTI remains committed in helping IPOPHL in helping MSMEs recover through IP, especially in recent months as we have been creating an enabling environment for MSMEs.

In July last year, DTI—through our Philippine Trade Trading Center-Global MSME Academy (or PTTC-GMEA)—partnered with IPOPHL in helping MSMEs create a more IP-centric business model. In PTTC’s trainings, IP is integrated in their training curriculum, and MSMEs are enabled to create their own IP assets and protect them.

DTI is also a signatory to the partnership with IPOPHL and the Department of Science and Technology (or DOST) in the latter’s SuperHighway project. With this project, over 1,000 intellectual property applications of researchers supported by DOST will benefit from the fast lanes implemented by IPOPHL. This will reduce waiting time for innovators before they can exploit their IPs in their market safely, with the assurance that their IP is now legally theirs.

This effort to hasten the registration process is indeed laudable because technology moves at neck breaking pace. Kaya dapat bilisan talaga ang pagkilos ng ating gobyerno sa pagsuporta sa ating mga innovators para matulungan natin sila maging competitive even in global markets. 

We want to highlight the aspect of IP in driving innovation. Innovation is critical not only in our recovery but in future-proofing our growth. In line with DTI’s flagship innovation program, the Inclusive Innovation-led Industrial Strategy (i³S), we need to keep innovation in the mind of our MSMEs as we build modernized Philippine businesses.

With this in mind, IP will encourage our MSMEs to create high-impact technologies. We know that to create quality technology, it takes time, effort, and capital for research and development. With the assurance of a return of investment, nandiyan ang future ng ating business, sobrang importante po ng having a time-bound exclusive right over your technology, our MSMEs will be motivated further to move up the value chain and work on high-value, socially relevant, and in-demand innovations.

For this, we are thankful for IPOPHL’s efforts in increasing the integration of IP in the local innovation landscape. Ito’y mula sa pag-promote ng patent analytics as a business strategy development tool hanggang sa pagtulong sa patent drafting and application up to grant sa ating mga innovators. Dito po napakahalaga ng IPOPHL, lalo na sa kanilang Innovation and Technology Support Office (o ITSO) banner program, na nakatutulong sa pag-scale up ng innovation. Ang ITSO ay offices na nasa universities, colleges, o research and development institutions. They help innovators within the schools or R&D centers throughout their IP journey, from technology development to commercialization.

The contribution of ITSO to our overall 2020 Global Innovation Index (or GII) ranking is also undeniable, as it factors in IP filing activities. In 2019, ITSOs accounted for 54% of total resident filings for patents and 50% in utility model (or UM) applications. Our UM fillings, which moved up from 8th in the 2020 GII rankings from 15th, was identified as one of the highest drivers for the country’s overall gain this year.

Given how instrumental ITSOs are, DTI’s Board of Investments (or BOI) now puts ITSOs that achieve a certain amount of IP activities as eligible for fiscal and non-fiscal incentives under its Investment Priorities Plan (or IPP). In celebration of IP Month, BOI held this April an informational event to help ITSOs take advantage of its IPP incentives. We hope to see this help more ITSOs elevate the level of their innovations and attract more universities, colleges, and R&D centers to be part of IPOPHL’s ITSO program.

Aside from supporting ITSOs, BOI is also encouraging the commercialization of yet uncommercialized patents by having included this activity in the IPP. With greater patents commercialized, we see our IP receipts under the GII further growing. The Philippines’ IP receipts—which climbed nine notches to 78th from 87th in the GII report—shows that Philippine innovations are not just expanding in number but are likewise gaining more economic value and commercial utilization.

In closing, with IP for MSMEs keyed into our i³S and the recognition of IP integrated into our REBUILD strategy, we can create an inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship environment that can hasten our country’s post-pandemic recovery. These will help us build back better by providing our people a more comfortable and greater quality of life, as well as giving future generations of Filipinos a legacy in IP from which they can benefit from. 

Maraming salamat po, mabuhay tayong lahat, at happy National IP Month! ♦

Date of Release: 30 April 2021