Taguig City, April 22, 2013 – Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Director General Ricardo R. Blancaflor and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Emmanuel M. Santiaguel, PhD., signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize the agencies’ partnership in connection with the Geographical Indications (GI) project. Geographical indications are included in the enumeration of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Section 4.1 (c) of R.A. 8293. The promotion and utilization of IP rights (IPRs) are vital to the development and sustainability of local businesses, which is an essential component of a progressive national economy.
The signing of the MOU is symbolic of CDA’s commitment to assist IPOPHL in the development, protection and promotion of GIs. Specifically, CDA shall spearhead the organization of groups of producers into GI cooperatives, or in the case of existing cooperatives, to encourage them to transform into a federation of GI cooperatives. It shall also provide capacity building interventions for the officers and members of GI cooperatives, in order to enhance their entrepreneurial capabilities, managerial expertise and technical skills. Further, the CDA shall include the GI cooperatives in its marketing programs.
Various case studies have shown that for a GI to be successful, strong organizational (in this case, the cooperative) and institutional structures (at the national/regional/provincial/local levels) must exist, to develop, maintain, market and monitor the GIs. Thus, IPOPHL shall continue to work with other government agencies in order to successfully develop, maintain, protect, and promote GIs, both in the domestic and international markets.
The MOU signing between IPOPHL and CDA is but the first step towards the realization of a sustainable rural and national development through the promotion and protection of GIs, in tandem with cooperativism and progressive cooperative movements.