The Philippines remained out of the United States watchlist due to the strong enforcement measures of the state.
The US watchlist flags countries with pressing concerns in intellectual property (IP) rights protection.
“We welcome the country’s continued exclusion from the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) Special 301 Report, an achievement since 2014 that helps promote the Philippines as a vibrant investment place for US and other foreign businesses,” Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Director General Rowel Barba said.
The country also successfully eliminated an allegation raised since 2019. Barba said they are pleased with the removal of the erroneous finding that the government uses unlicensed software, a claim which it has repeatedly disproved.
In its explanations to the USTR, IPOPHL had cited Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act of 2002, which by laying down stringent eligibility requirements, adequately ensures that only legitimate bidders with genuine, authorized, and good quality products can participate in the bidding process.
Also cited were issuances such as Executive Order No. 262, series of 2000 titled “Providing Policies, Guidelines, Rules and Regulations for the Procurement of Goods/Supplies by the National Government” and Memorandum Circular No. 115 issued on April 5, 1995, all of which direct government offices to only acquire licensed software.