Press Release
June 9, 2011


Senator Edgardo Angara is backing a bill that will teach and promote intellectual property rights among elementary, high school and tertiary students in the country.

The Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, which Angara chairs, discussed Senate Bill 696 uthored by Senator Jinggoy Ejercito-Estrada during this week's hearing. The bill will make the

teaching of intellectual property ownership - particularly copyright law - a part of the curriculum.

At present, intellectual property is only taught in the secondary level as part of the research-writing course.

"If only we teach our students the importance of patents and encourage them to add to the country's pool, then we will have a lot more original scientific, artistic and intellectual works," said Angara. "At the same time, we have to orient our children against piracy and intellectual dishonesty."

During the hearing, Angara cited the experience of the University of Florida which has generated a sizeable revenue by promoting the patenting of original work among its students. One of these products is Gatorade, now the world's biggest energy drink brand.

Angara, who is also the chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, challenged the Filipino youth to make channel their creativity toward transforming indigenous found materials into ingenious byproducts.

"Studies show that coconut water, which we just throw away, is even better than Gatorade in terms of rehydration," he said. "What can we do with that and how do we market it?"

Because of the public's lack of awareness on laws involving copyright, original ideas showcased in science fairs and competitions could be easily stolen or marketed by companies and other individuals.

Angara directed the Committee on Higher Education to prepare a report studying the possibility of expanding lessons on property rights, and exploring the possibility of teaching the subject in the earliest years of primary education.

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