News & Updates

IPOPHL grants Guimaras Mangoes the First Geographical Indication in the Philippines

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines approved on 13 May 2023 the application by the Guimaras Mango Growers and Producers Development Cooperative (“GMGPDC”), making Guimaras mangoes the first registered geographical indication (“GI”) in the Philippines. This was pursuant to the GI Rules & Regulations (“Rules”) published in 2022.


The Intellectual Property Code recognizes a GI as an intellectual property right. The Rules define a GI as “any indication which identifies a good as originating in a territory, region or locality, where a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and/or human factors.” A grant of GI protection would help promote and enhance the competitive advantage of local, indigenous, and distinctive products in the Philippines, since a GI seal certifies a product’s quality, characteristics, and geographical source. A GI seal also aids consumers in distinguishing products based on the reputation of the geographic location where the goods are produced, providing greater value to the Philippines’ local products.


In its Manual of Specifications (“MOP”) for Guimaras Mangoes, which is a requirement for its registration as a GI, the fruit is described as a typical “Carabao” mango variety with an ellipsoid shape and a meaty, juicy flesh. It is thin-seeded and is known for being the sweetest mango in the country. These qualities are attributed to Guimaras’ soil and topography, as well as the climate, which all play a role in the cultivation and production of the mangoes. The MOP also provides the rules and standards that must be adhered to by associations to maintain the use of the GI seal.


In a statement, GMGPDC President Felipe Z. Gamarcha said that, with the GI seal for Guimaras mangoes, he is hoping that local prices will double, thereby giving additional income to farmers.



Notably, under the Rules, a duly registered GI grants the right to prevent third parties from using the indication to mislead the public as to the GI of a product, to provide false information, or other analogous circumstances. However, stronger safeguards must still be put in place to ensure the adequate protection of GIs. In a proposed legislation, the Bureau of Trademarks recommended that a violation of GI be considered a crime against the economic and cultural interests of the State, making it enforceable by the State against infringers without need of being initiated by private stakeholders.