Press Release
November 5, 2012

Bill to promote national design policy gets Senate nod

The Senate approved on final reading a bill seeking to promote competitive Filipino design and to create a national design policy.

Sen. Manny Villar, chairman of the Committee on Trade and Commerce and principal author of Senate Bill No. 3071, said the passage of the proposed legislation will create an enabling environment that will allow the various sectors of the design industry to increase productivity, enhance visibility in the global market, boost competitiveness and improve the level of innovation of the people.

"The Philippines is a rich breeding ground of creative talents. Creativity is a unique gift of every Filipino. It is our asset, our national pride. Design, which stems from our innate creative ability, has allowed many of our kababayans to excel in various fields abroad," Villar said.

"But despite the abundance of creative talents in the country, we are trailing behind our Asian neighbors. Many of our homegrown talents are being pirated by other countries such as China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. This puts a strain on our creative manpower, thereby weakening our competitive edge in the global market," he added.

He cited the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Singapore, Thailand, Hongkong and South Korea, as countries that use design as a tool to accelerate their economic development and social progress.

South Korea, in fact, used the design policy to popularize its culture and the Korean craze in the world, according to Villar.

With the passage of the Philippine Design Competitiveness Act, Villar said, a focused, strategic, integrated and cohesive master plan, for the design industries to thrive efficiently will be accomplished.

"We cannot stand idle for another minute while these countries have pushed their national design efforts into high gear," he stressed.

"Governments are being challenged to be more forward-looking, to push creativity and innovation to stay globally competitive," Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, co-author and co-sponsor of the bill, added.

Under the proposed measure, the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines (PDDCP) will be renamed as the Design Center of the Philippines, renewing its commitment to promote and develop the local design industry and create awareness in people that design fosters innovation and sustainability and strengthens local business and society.

A Design Advisory Council which is a public-private partnership that will help in the formulation and implementation of policies of the Design Center, Villar said.

The bill also highlights the need to institutionalize the intellectual property protection in the field of design for Filipino creative designers and manufacturers as it is a factor considered by local and foreign investors in establishing start-up companies that could improve the level of innovation in the country.

Moreover, Villar said, design education at all levels will be promoted to instill the importance and appreciation of Filipino culture in design while collaborations and networking among the government, private sector and design stakeholders, both locally and internationally will be enhanced and strengthened.

"What design aims to do is to provide concrete solutions to people's problems, while working with limitations in resources and situations," Guingona said.

A similar bill was filed in the House of Representatives by Quezon City 3rd District Representative Jorge Banal and Catanduanes Representative Cesar Sarmiento.

"Let us uplift the state of our Philippine design industry by establishing a design-led economy where we may generate jobs and livelihood for our people, maintain our competitive edge in the global market and echo our collective pride in our culture and heritage," Villar said. (APPLE BUENAVENTURA, PRIB)

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