French wine, Roquefort cheese...Bicol pili?

LEGAZPI CITY - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional office here is mulling to facilitate registration of geographical indication (GI) for “Bicol Pili” as part of product developmental approach in the use of industrial property for the total development of the pili nut industry.

DTI Bicol regional director Jocelyn Blanco said the initiatives will be facilitated by the agency, in partnership with the Intellectual Property Office Philippines (IPOPHL).

Blanco explained that geographical indication means a specific intellectual property right that designates a product from a specific region and whose characteristics result in both the natural conditions of its origin and the expertise of local producers.

“Most commonly, a geographical indication consists of the name of origin of the goods. Famous example: CHAMPAGNE is used exclusively for French Wines in the champagne province of France,” she said.

GI, according to Blanco, is a powerful intellectual and economic asset not only of the region but also of the nation, as it leverages products to compete globally. It is a valuable marketing tool in today’s global economy.

“DTI’s move towards GI for “Bicol Pili” aims to promote and better protect pili nut in the local and international markets,” she said.

She furthered that this dynamic instrument leads to wider market reach including trade negotiations between and among economies.

DTI Bicol meanwhile slated a consultative conference with stakeholders on February 18, this year to present the prospect and equip the pili industry stakeholders with enough information on the requirements needed for the registration of “Bicol Pili” as GI.

On the same conference, the Technical Working Group (TWG) that will draft the Code of Practice will also be created.

Blanco noted that after almost a couple of years of negotiations, DTI Bicol is able to build an institution from a cross sections of stakeholders of the pili industry. (MAL/JRBerango-DTI5/PIA5/Albay)