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IPOPHL, San Juan gov’t eye revival of local handicrafts for Greenhills traders

Reviving stagnating Filipino crafts industries was at the heart of the dialogue between top officials of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the San Juan local government, as IPOPHL moves to develop an alternative livelihood program for vendors in Greenhills. 

 

Reviving stagnating Filipino crafts industries was at the heart of the dialogue between top officials of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the San Juan local government, as IPOPHL moves to develop an alternative livelihood program for vendors in Greenhills. 

This livelihood program in the works is part of IPOPHL’s bid to alter Greenhills’ reputation as a center for counterfeit and pirated goods, while preparing a contingency plan for tiangge traders and vendors that may possibly be displaced due to the ongoing revamp of Greenhills instigated by developer Ortigas and Co.

“We have this ambition of making the country being able to use intellectual property to add value to locally-made products.  The innovation that intellectual property brings can be integrated in our aim to re-engineer Greenhills, which is known to sell counterfeit and pirated goods. Greenhills Shopping Center should be known as the premier center that showcases quality and inventive Filipino products. We can showcase the products of our Filipino inventors,  entrepreneurs and designers,” IPOPHL Director General Josephine R. Santiago said. 

IPOPHL envisions the implementation and refinement of the program to be an interagency effort, and plans to create an interagency committee to this end. 

“Greenhills is now being re-developed and some tiangge vendors may be eased out. What will happen to them? This is what we’re planning for,” IPOPHL Deputy Director General Teodoro C. Pascua added. 

San Juan City mayor Hon. Guia Gomez acknowledged the difficulty in weaning Greenhills vendors and traders from counterfeit goods to locally-made ones but affirmed the development of IP-infused goods - through research and development - can start small. 

IPOPHL Director Carmen G. Peralta offered the expertise of IPOPHL’s network of Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSOs) that do R&D, to help in the endeavor.

Locally designed and crafted jewelry is a promising area for collaboration for product development, moreso as craftsmakers can apply for industrial design patents on their aesthetic design.

“Jewellery-making is something Filipinos can easily be a strong player in, but we don’t have research and development,” Hon. Gomez acknowledged. 

Mayor Gomez and IPOPHL also agreed on the joint promotion of the hand-crafted Ninay and Nenita Filipino dolls, made iconic by non-governmental organisation and social enterprise Balikatan sa Kaunlaran (BSK) Foundation which is strongly supported by Mayor Gomez. These BSK dolls, can be trademarked and may also be patented for the design.

Jewellery and specialised crafts like doll-making are but two of the local industries overtaken by the influx of cheaper, mass-market alternatives from abroad. 

IPOPHL is initiating talks with other concerned agencies to weigh in on the possible convergence of efforts, and gather input to flesh out the alternative livelihood program.