The CatSU Abaca Technology and Innovation Center (ATIC), under the leadership of its Director, Prof. Abelisa D. Evangelista, conducted a seminar cum-writeshop on the application of Collective Mark of Abaca Fiber in the university accreditation room on March 22, 2023, to increase support for the province’s abaca industry.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Provincial Local Government of Catanduanes, Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) collaborated to organize the workshop.

The event served as an information drive and a writeshop for the stakeholders of the abaca industry in Catanduanes, particularly the members of Catanduanes Abaca Industry Development Council (CAIDC), where CatSU is an active member.

Prof. Evangelista stressed that the Origin-Based Branding of Catanduanes Goods and Services was critical in strengthening the support to the province’s abaca industry.

“We are here to encourage and enhance the competitiveness of our abaca farmers, traders, processors, government and non-government agencies, researchers, the academe, and other stakeholders,” Prof. Evangelista said.

The workshop began with an introduction to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines by Mr. Rolan O. Leaรฑo. Succeeding topics included the Importance and Benefits of Protecting Geographical Indications and Collective marks, and Developing a Geographical Indication & Collective Mark: Next Steps, presented by Atty. Joan Janneth M. Estremadura and Ms. Danica M. Muyargas, respectively, of the Bureau of Trademarks.

The Director hopes that this significant progress will attract more investors to provide more employment opportunities and sustain the demand and productivity of the province’s abaca industry. The workshop also covered salient features of Geographical Indications and Regulations.

A day prior to this event, the group visited an abaca farm in San Roque, Bato, to observe the unique farming management and practices of abaca in the island, in relation to the application of the Collective Mark of Abaca Fiber. IPOPHL Consultant Engr. Nino Angelo Torre facilitated the initiatives of the CatSU-ATIC, led by CatSU President Dr. Patrick Alain T. Azanza, through the Catanduanes Abaca Industry Development Council (CAIDC) headed by Gov. Joseph C. Cua.

The preliminary activities of the farm visit were supported by CatSU Vice President for Research, Extension, and Production Affairs (REPA), Dr. Ramon Felipe A. Sarmiento, Assistant Vice President REPA, Dr. Kristian Q. Aldea, and CatSU-ATIC Faculty-in-Charge Engr. Jhomann U. Socito. (CATSU/CVecilles)