WIPR Influential Women in IP 2019
advance more targeted capacity-building to
stimulate creativity and innovation.”
Enforcement begins with education. That’s the
underlying rationale of the office’s concerted effort
to emphasise education and training in its current
roster of programmes.
IPOPHL is now institutionalising the IP
Academy, its flagship programme which the office
envisions to be a national centre for IP knowledge,
learning and development, and research and
She explains: “Tackling the challenge of
increasing IP awareness is being addressed in a
more systematic and targeted way through the IP
Academy, in an effort to go further than awareness
and into formal training and education.”
Santiago, who came into office in October 2015,
cites her greatest achievement in the role as pushing
forward IP education.
IPOPHL has established partnerships with state
universities and colleges through its Innovation
and Technology Support Offices. Last year, the
office elevated its education drive to key, cabinetlevel
agencies which are empowered to make lasting
changes to the education sector.
This could be a turning point for the Philippines,
with the office in advanced talks with the
Department of Education (DepEd) to chart a way
forward to move IP into the education curriculum,
by training as many as 700 teachers on IP across the
Young IP Advocates, another scheme from the
office, targets primary and secondary schoolchildren
to instil IP awareness as part of character-building
and values training.
That’s not enough for Santiago, who wants to
entrench IP into the entire education system, which
is why the office is partnering with other authorities
covering technical and higher education.
“Making headway in embedding IP in the
education sector is key to responding to the other
looming challenges of enforcement and societal
respect for IP,” says Santiago, who adds that
advancing respect for IP among the general public
is proving to be an enduring test for the office.
Last year, the National Committee on Intellectual
Property Rights (NCIPR)—the 12-agency task force
charged with enforcement of IP rights—with the
IPOPHL as vice-chair, seized P23.6 billion ($448
million) worth of pirated and counterfeit goods, an
increase of 188% over 2017, netting NCIPR’s largest
haul since its creation in 2008.
The lion’s share of goods were cigarettes and alcohol
(86% of the total). Pharmaceutical and personal care
products came in second in terms of value, with the
year-long haul amounting to P1.2 billion.
In 2017, the NCIPR captured a total of P8.2
IP office interview: Philippines
first glance, not appear to be particularly related to
the IP and innovation industry.
In her path to becoming Miss Universe, Gray,
who is dedicated to ending poverty and is a HIV/
AIDS awareness advocate, “cascaded IP knowledge
and creativity to a wider base”, Santiago says.
“First through her meticulously chosen Miss
Universe outfits and ensemble, and now primarily
through her fashion sense and patronage of
local products, Gray has revived interest in local
Philippine traditions such as traditional cloth
weaving, lantern-making, and beadwork, to name
Gray has become an advocate for local crafts
and materials and, in so doing, has promoted the
use of T’nalak, a collective mark-protected native
product. Her use of local fabrics in her wardrobe
also sheds light on other indigenous groups, such
as the Ifugao, Tausug, and Pintados.
Because of Miss Universe’s immense popularity
in the country, women are following suit, with many
now patronising the local fashion and rediscovering
traditions, claims Santiago.
Network-building is also essential to encouraging
women into the IP and innovation industry.
Women’s groups, particularly in the micro,
small, and medium enterprises sector (MSMEs), are
rife in the Philippines, and IPOPHL has contributed
to this cause through its trademark registration
incentive programme, she says.
The “Juana Make a Mark” programme waives
the payment of basic filing fees and other fees for
MSMEs that meet certain conditions, helping to
make the IP system more accessible to smaller
“Empowering women through self-organisation,
particularly in the scientific and creative fields
which we deal with, cannot be overstated. Enabling
these women groups to congregate opens the door
for them to share not just hurdles in common but
also to find common solutions which we take part
in,” she says.
“The dialogue that this opens allows us to
patent, utility models,
industrial design, and
filed at the office
SHUTTERSTOCK / ANDREW REPP