DTI vows full automation of services next year

Published October 20, 2020, 12:28 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez has vowed that micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) doing transactions with the government can expect a fully-automated digital platform with a refined customer service team any time of the day by next year.

Lopez issued this commitment at the signing of a memorandum of understanding Monday with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and DTI to mainstream IPOPHL’s services and initiatives across DTI services, programs, projects and activities where relevant. This provides more MSMES the opportunity to leverage IPOPHL services, protect their IP assets and build competitiveness.

The MOU also gives way for intelligence sharing on consumer complaints which concern counterfeit or pirated goods, thus boosting enforcement action.

At the same event, IPOPHL also launched its mobile app “IPOPHL Mobiliz” to reach out to more creators and innovators and provide them an easier way to secure their intellectual property (IP) assets.

Available on Google Play and the App Store, IPOPHL Mobiliz facilitates all IPOPHL services, from filing to registration and raising reports or complaints against infringers. Users can also get updates on the status of their application and disputes and view schedules on IP learning courses.

IPOPHL is also working with DTI and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to ensure our Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers throughout the country will prioritize registered IPs in years to come.

Even as he targets a fully-automated digital platform by 2021, Lopez said the “IPOPHL Mobiliz” the full automation is already happening at present.

 IPOPHL Director General Rowel Barba also cited the launch of the app as “very timely” amid the recent IPOPHL policy that pushes IP applications to be strictly made online, ensuring the safety of stakeholders and its employees.

“Given that many of us spend most of our time on mobile, this development will help IPOPHL reach out to a wider audience and provide a convenient and faster way for securing intellectual property assets and further integrate IP in innovative, creative and entrepreneurial processes,” Barba said.

The IPOPHL Mobiliz is also seen to unload half of the daily calls the Office receives with regard to basic concerns and questions as the app provides an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide for users to enjoy IPOPHL’s services.

This is IPOPHL’s latest digital upgrade in a series of efforts in past months to provide a contactless and user-friendly experience to stakeholders amid the pandemic. IPOPHL Mobiliz is part of the Office’s new and broader agenda which will be implemented during Barba’s term.

Anti-Red Tape Authority Director General Jeremiah B. Belgica lauded IPOPHL’s mobile app and how it can spur innovation and creativity amid the pandemic.

“IPOPHL is not only protecting the dreamers, it is making it more accessible to them and telling them that challenging times like this, it is not only sufficient to survive but also to thrive. My sincerest hope is that with this mobile application, it will open the floodgates of Filipino creativity and the creative mindset…to challenge the pandemic and the many other challenges to come as well as to continue toward digital economy,” the ARTA chief added.

He also encouraged others to follow in IPOPHL’s success in streamlining services for a smoother transition to automation.

“Gayahin po natin ang IPOPHL in that they see the point, the compassion and the direction of our president in pushing for more streamlined services,” Belgica added.  

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez welcomed IPOPHL’s digitalization agenda, noting this will enable greater awareness and inclusive participation towards innovation goals.

“It is important that we are really embarking on this initiative. This can, in the long-term, address the need to create more IP awareness on innovation. I’m sure, with this digitalized facilitation of services, IPOPHL can gain awareness on IP among MSMEs,” Lopez said.

“IP as an important part of the innovation discipline must really be emphasized. Innovation is the core of entrepreneurship. Walang mag-susurvive, mag-susustain without innovation and IP registration,” the Trade chief added.

“We hope that through this MOU we sign today, DTI can help bridge us to more MSMEs and give us the opportunity to contribute not only in their recovery but in helping them secure a competitive position in their fields so they can generate employment, help more Filipinos earn a living to feed and support their families,” Barba added.