Sunday, August 23, 2015

PHILIPPINES : APEC delegates visit USC refinery

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Delegates to an APEC meeting on intellectual property rights visited yesterday a bio-refinery plant in Cebu that processes waste from the dried mango industry.

“The plant is a showcase of an academic institution that has successfully generated added income and new jobs from its intellectual property asset,”  the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said in a press statement.

The tour participants are in Cebu for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Intellectual Property Rights Experts’ Group (APEC-IPEG) meeting.

The plant they visited “repurposes the dried mango wastes for a variety of products such as mango flour, butter, and tea”,  as well as ingredients like pectin and polyphenol for the cosmetics industry.

The University of San Carlos (USC) owns and operates the bio-refinery plant and is one of the partner universities of IPOPHL in its Innovation and Technology Support Office program.

“The USC plant is one of our ITSO success stories, which illustrates the very best of government and private sector partnership in the area of IP,”  
said lawyer Allan B. Gepty, deputy director general of IPOPHL and head of the Philippine IPEG delegation.

He hopes the visit will inspire “stronger policy support for IP commercialization for academic institutions.”

“Fostering SME participation in regional and global Markets”  is one of the Philippines’ priorities as host of the APEC meetings this year.

Another APEC meeting that opened during the weekend in Cebu was that of the Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT).

In his opening remarks last Saturday, Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Demetrio Ignacio pointed out that the country has taken steps to combat illegal logging and its associated trade.

“Since our President imposed a total log ban in all natural forests nationwide four years ago, we have been able to reduce illegal logging hotspots by almost 90 percent, as well as reforest more than one million hectares,”  Ignacio said.

He said he looked forward to hearing some insights for eliminating the last 10 percent and preventing a recurrence of illegal logging in the Philippines.

Other APEC meetings in Cebu involved the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group and the Sub-Committee on Customs and Procedures.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 24, 2015.