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PIA Press Release
Saturday, January 28, 2012

 

GI registration of Pina cloth to benefit Aklanons

By Venus G. Villanueva

KALIBO, Aklan, January 28 (PIA6) -- Increased income, market access, employment generation are just some of the various benefits to be derived by Aklanons once famous pina cloth of the province gets registered for Geographical Indications (GI).

This according to the Intellectual Property Office Philippines (IPOPHL) during an orientation on the subject at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here last January 26.

The orientation, conducted by Atty. Jesus Antonio Z. Ros of IPOPHL, was attended mostly by pina producers and manufacturers in Aklan and members of the Hugod Aklanon Producers Association, Inc. (Hugod) and some members of the media.

Ros said once Pina becomes a GI of Aklan, many people in the province will get employed - from the pina planters, leaves harvesters, extractors, weavers, etc.

A GI, Ros said, is accorded to a product originating in a territory, region or locality where given quality, reputation or characteristics of the item or product is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

“There should be a relationship between the territory and the product,” Ros said.

As an example, Ros discussed with the participants the case of the Guimaras mango.

“There are many varieties of mangoes, and carabao mango is available in various parts of the country. However, Guimaras mangoes are famous due to the absence of pests infecting the fruits,” Ros said.

Ros said the absence of pests could be attributed to the territory, soil, wind or sea breeze, but as in all products lined up for GI, studies should be conducted on the conditions prevailing why the good or product is better than the rest.

The leaves of the Aklan native pineapple plant are extracted for its strong fiber used to weave the cloth. Ros said studies of Aklan’s soil, climate and other factors that contribute in the production of good, quality pina cloth should also be conducted before the product gets GI registration.

All the information gathered from the study will then be placed in a Book of Specification, said Ros.

In aiming for a GI registration of Pina Cloth, Ros also urged interested groups to coordinate with other agencies like the Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Science and Technology.

Ros shared that they have gone around the country conducting orientation on GI and to help constituents determine their candidate product for GI.

“The GI could either be owned by the LGU or a cooperative, which will then regulate its use,” Ros said.

Ros also emphasized that a GI-registered product proves that it is original or genuine, but no one can apply for GI if he or his group is not from the place or locality.

The orientation for GI was held by the IPOPHL in Aklan in coordination with the DTI. (JCM/VGV PIA 6 Aklan)

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