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‘Juana Make a Mark’ program empowers women in provinces

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The Juana Make a Mark (JMAM) Program of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) is proving to deliver on its promise of spurring inclusive development as women entrepreneurs in provinces emerged as the program’s biggest beneficiaries. 

The JMAM is a trademark registration incentive program that allows eligible MSMEs to register their trademarks at a reduced cost. Applicants can also avail of the incentive at various IP satellite offices (IPSO) nationwide where applicants are provided robust guidance up to registration. 

Data from IPOPHL show that as of end-2023, around 92% of all 6,443 JMAM applicants since 2017 — when the program was first offered— were from regions outside Metro Manila.

“Through the JMAM, IPOPHL’s trademark services are made more accessible and affordable to budding women entrepreneurs, especially those outside Metro Manila where much of the economic growth has been concentrated. This shows that the program is breaking not only gender barriers but also geographical boundaries for women,” Deputy Director General Ann Claire C. Cabochan said.

“In turn, we are empowering more women to own their brands and use them to make a mark in their communities,” she added. She noted that several studies have shown that enabling women’s economic participation can have significant multiplier effects, such as alleviating poverty, reducing inequalities and raising healthy children as women tend to invest more in their families and communities than men.

Of the 16 IPSOs that acted on JMAM requests, the IPSO for the Cordillera Administrative Region processed the most applications, booking 697 or 10.8% of the total trademark filings. The IPSOs in the Bicol Region and Soccsksargen followed with 617 (9.6%) and 538 (8.4%) applications, respectively. 

Bulk of trademark applications were related to local food and beverages. Particularly, 26% were local pastries, delicacies, coffee, tea, sugar etc; 19%, restaurant services offering local cuisines; 17%, processed food from fruits and vegetables indigenous to the areas; 10%, local food outlets, kiosks selling local delicacies “pasalubong;” and 4%, manufacturing services.

“We will continue to sustain the gains achieved by the JMAM program. We will strive to reach more MSMEs, especially those situated in far-flung areas, calamity and crisis-stricken places and areas where peace and order is a challenge,” Director General Rowel S. Barba said.
The JMAM is currently on its seventh cycle and is still open to over 900 applicants.

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