UP IHR’s Atty. Baguilat takes part in the MOA signing to protect the intellectual property rights of IPs
On 22 March 2023, UP Law Center Institute of Human Rights (UP IHR) Senior Legal Associate Atty. Raymond Marvic Baguilat participated in the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) together with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) to protect the intellectual property rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs). The event was held in cooperation with the Kiangan Local Government Unit (LGU) headed by Mayor Atty. Raldis Andrei Bulayungan, assisted by Vice Mayor Michelle Alice Baguilat, Municipal Tourism Officer Olmigy Hagada, and Atty. Baguilat, an Australia Global Alumni grantee. A workshop was also conducted following the event on 23-24 March 2023, in line with the MOA signing, to include actual registrations of intellectual properties of Indigenous Peoples (IPs), even those outside the coverage of the traditional cultural expressions (TCEs).
Atty. Baguilat shared that even before the pandemic, there were already several complaints regarding cultural appropriation and the rise of foreign-made machines that copy TCEs. Such developments violated the cultural rights of IPs throughout the country. As a response, Atty. Baguilat proposed, through the Australia Global Alumni in the Philippines Grant Scheme, a workshop or training for his fellow IPs in Kiangan by reaching out to IPOPHL and finding means to better address the problem. He emphasized that it was a good opportunity to share with the IPOPHL the unique lived experiences that were products of the traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions of the IPs.
Atty. Baguilat included an immersion program in the workshop where experts from IPOPHL had a better appreciation of the indigenous communities and their culture by experiencing the conditions of going up and down the terraces of Ifugao, seeing their environment up-close, and understanding some aspects of their cultural practices. The immersion assisted the members of IPOPHL to situate their lectures during the workshop. They explored several examples from the interaction, such as the Tinawon Rice and Bayah. The workshop also jumpstarted local legislative discussions for the registration of geographic indications for distinct Ifugao indigenous products.