Signing of the ‘Tatak Pinoy’ IRR

Posted by watchmen
May 28, 2024
Posted in Better Days, OPINION

By Sonny Angara

Recently, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual led representatives from other government agencies in signing the approved implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Tatak Pinoy (Proudly Filipino) Law (RA 11981), which we principally authored and sponsored. We are grateful that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) acted swiftly in developing these rules, as the law was signed by President Bongbong Marcos just last February.

Crafted mainly by experts from USAID-RESPOND (Regulatory Reform Support Program for National Development), the guidelines were a product of several public consultations and focus group discussions. Their approval signals that the full implementation of the law can now begin in earnest.

Some of the milestones we hope to see in the coming months include the formal call for nominations for the four private sector representatives in the Tatak Pinoy Council (TPC) to be appointed by the President; a roadshow by the DTI to promote and explain directly to stakeholders on the ground the ambitious goals of the law; and the issuance by the TPC of a list of Philippine products and services that will immediately be given preference when it comes to government procurement.

In her message during the signing ceremony, DTI Undersecretary Fita Aldaba underscored that with the approval of the IRR, the TPC — chaired by the DTI with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Finance (DOF) sitting as vice-chairpersons — is now enabled to issue whatever guidelines, circulars and opinions necessary for the implementation of the law; and engage resource persons from the private and public sectors to attend council meetings. The TPC can now also establish working groups according to the key pillars cited in the law, namely human resources; infrastructure; technology and innovation; investments; and sound financial management.

The milestone we are anticipating the most is the Tatak Pinoy Strategy (TPS), which is perhaps among the more important features of the law. Covering the same time frame as the prevailing Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the TPS shall outline the plan and action components for the country, and for the regions, provinces, cities, and municipalities, to systematically support domestic enterprises to produce and offer increasingly diverse, sophisticated and globally competitive products and services. Undersecretary Aldaba summed up the essence of the TPS, when she said it would “serve as the country’s integrated industrial strategy, complementing and harmonizing all ongoing industrial initiatives” across the country.

For years, the DTI had already pursued various industrial initiatives and strategies — starting from the Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy (CNIS) from 2012 to 2016, which included the Manufacturing Resurgence Program (MRP); the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (I3s) from 2016 to 2021; and then currently, the STI-driven (Science, Technology and Innovation) Industrial Policy in 2022, which evolved with the concept of “Mindfacturing,” emphasizing the importance of human creativity and intellect.

While the DTI had consistently done its best with its various industrialization initiatives through the years, the work of actually transforming the very structure of our economy should not be their responsibility alone. Such an endeavor requires no less than the collaboration and cooperation not only from other government agencies such as the DOF, NEDA, the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), or the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), but also industry champions in the Philippines, trade associations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs, and even the academe. Such synergy from all stakeholders appeared to be the missing element in our industrial strategies thus far.

Hence, as I explained in my message during the signing ceremony, filling in this gap was among our chief motivations for sponsoring and pushing the Tatak Pinoy Law. What we needed was a durable (meaning institutionalized) platform wherein relevant government agencies and private sector stakeholders can come together and push for the country’s industrialization in a systematic and strategic manner. And this is precisely the purpose or function we hope the Tatak Pinoy Law, particularly through the TPS, will serve in the years to come.

We gladly took note that DTI Secretary Pascual said in his speech that the law rightly highlights the need for a “whole-of-nation” approach. We were even more heartened when NEDA Secretary Arsie Balisacan emphasized that there were “quite a lot of complementarity and overlap in the objectives” of the current PDP and the Tatak Pinoy Law, and that he saw such mutual support continuing even with future PDPs and versions of the TPS.

Later on, DBM Principal Economist and Undersecretary Joselito R. Basilio said that the law’s implementation will most probably be enrolled under the department’s program convergence budgeting — where agencies involved discuss and coordinate everything that concerns a specific budget item. He added that since the law provides for the establishment of a Tatak Pinoy secretariat, it will be easier to coordinate, harmonize and streamline the different programs and projects that the different agencies have that are aligned with Tatak Pinoy objectives.

Indeed, there is much to anticipate given that the rules and regulations for implementing the Tatak Pinoy Law have now been issued.



Senator Sonny Angara has been in public service for 20 years — 9 years as Representative of the Lone District of Aurora, and 11 as Senator. He has authored, co-authored, and sponsored more than 330 laws. He is currently serving his second term in the Senate. (Email: / Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @sonnyangara)/WDJ

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