Solons: Strengthen design industry to make local products & services competitive

HOUSE members are calling for the promotion and strengthening of the Philippine design industry to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s products and services to drive sustainable economic growth.

Rep. Jorge Banal (3rd District, Quezon City), principal author of House Bill 6513 or the proposed “Philippine Design Competitiveness Act of 2012,” said there is a need to review the country’s policy on national design if the government is truly serious about providing support for the millions who work in the various industries and depend on the competitiveness of their firms.

“We must push for legislation that would promote competitiveness. In the end, what is at stake is the livelihood of our fellow Filipinos. Design and product development should go hand in hand. In a world where competition is very stiff, promotion and development of our product and industry design is something to be seriously considered,” said Banal, a Deputy Majority Leader.

He said much has changed since 1987, the year Executive Order 133 was issued by former President Corazon Aquino, reorganizing the Department of Trade and Industry, which included the creation of the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines (PDDCP).

“So many products and developments have come up, and as technology made possible the entry of a lot of innovations, design improvement had a significant effect on the marketability of these products,” said Banal.

Rep. Cesar Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes) said for Philippine product and industry design to advance towards global competitiveness, the mandate of the PDDCP needs to be reviewed.

“It has to be strengthened, and for this to happen, there must be an empowering charter that would allow both the government and private sector to work together. By pursuing design development, we take to mind and seriously consider the welfare of the millions of Filipinos who work in our industries and craft their products,” said Sarmiento.

Among the objectives of HB 6513 are : Establish a national policy which shall be an integrated, forward-thinking and long-range direction and strategy for the Philippine design industry; Build and promote design awareness to the public by making good design accessible to everyone through different activities and events; Create demand for good design by integrating design into other industries and aspects of society, thereby extending its impact economically, socially and environmentally; and Cultivate capabilities and resources of Filipino designers to produce world-class designs and innovations.

The bill provides for the reengineering and renaming of the PDDCP into the Design Center of the Philippines which shall spearhead the creation and implementation of the National Design Policy (NDP). The NDP shall serve as the State’s strategy in promoting design as a driving force towards economic growth.

It also provides for the creation of a Design Advisory Council (DAC), a public-private partnership and which shall serve as an advisory body to the Design Center of the Philippines.

The Design Center of the Philippines shall have an Executive Director who shall be appointed by the President, and shall execute and administer the policies and plans approved by the DAC.

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