How to make PH products truly ‘Tatak Pinoy’ | Inquirer Business

How to make PH products truly ‘Tatak Pinoy’

The Tatak Pinoy bill authored by Sen. Sonny Angara is a critical and long-needed initiative for our national development. It is particularly important for the agriculture sector, which could finally achieve a desired transformation with its help.

Tatak Pinoy was initially just a campaign. Angara, on Aug. 11, 2019, said: “A successful Tatak Pinoy campaign will improve the country’s economic productivity and competitiveness, generate more decent jobs for Filipinos, particularly in the countryside, and eradicate chronic poverty and inequality in the country … We have a wealth of resources that have yet to be tapped and are not yet fully utilized.”

Many thought Tatak Pinoy was just a branding strategy for a few good products.


Four years later on May 22, 2023, Angara filed Senate Bill No. 2218, which called for a “comprehensive and multiyear Tatak Pinoy (proudly Filipino) strategy and establishing a Tatak Pinoy Council.”


Angara emphasized, however, that we lacked “a coordinated transformation of the economy.” He cited two factors that are particularly important for agriculture: “The imperative to modernize agriculture and increase its productivity and … the production and export of a more complex basket of products and services.”

Last July 25, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) initiated a discussion between key private sector leaders and Angara. There, PCCI president George Barcelon cited how South Korea actively promoted its singers—successfully. Last April 6, K-pop icon BTS surpassed even the Beatles and the Supremes in a prestigious chart record.

For agriculture, Alyansa Agrikultura (AA) proposed two initiatives: an information system and high-value focus.

Before we can brand, we must have something good to brand.

This can be done through an effective market information system. This was mandated in the 1997 Agriculture and Fisheries and Modernization Act, authored by Angara’s father, former Senate President Edgardo Angara. Unfortunately, this system has yet to be created.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) had earlier proposed 0.7 percent of its budget for market information. AA said it was too low, thus the DA doubled this to 1.4 percent, which is still a measly P10 million. This critical gap must be addressed.


Angara’s focus on more complex export products must also be implemented. Our five top commodities accounting for 71 percent of our agriculture exports are mostly basic—and losing their market shares.

In a meeting with a member of the very effective Private Sector Advisory Council, Chemrez president Dean Lao presented high value and complex coconut byproducts for health and beauty, one showing 30 times the value of our traditional simple copra. This is an example of where we can excel with the Tatak Pinoy strategy and brand.

Our country’s negative trade balance worsened last year by 33 percent to $11.8 billion.

With Tatak Pinoy, our goal should be to equal Thailand’s exports, which used to be much less than ours. Our agricultural exports would easily surpass the $36.2 billion in remittances we received last year.

The author is Agriwatch chair, former secretary of presidential flagship programs and projects, and former undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry.

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Contact is agriwatch_phil@yahoo.

TAGS: column, Commentary, Pinoy, Products

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