The island province of Guimaras in Western Visayas, Central Philippines, which is comparable to Singapore in size, is going global with its famed and soon-to-be trademark sweetest mango in the world.

This, after the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) seeks to protect unique native products originating from various regions in the country.

Guimaras fresh mangoes, along with seven native products including Aklan piña cloth, Cebu dried mangoes, Batangas Barako coffee, Bicol pili nuts, Dagupan bangus (milkfish), Lake Sebu Tinalak from South Cotabato and Lumban barong are being pushed to be listed and protected as GI or Geographical Indicators.

Gov. Felipe Hilan Nava is very optimistic that the trademark branding will further promote Guimaras and enhance its image in the international fruit industry especially the lucrative European market.

Guimaras mangoes remain as one of the country’s few export-quality products that penetrated the international trade and niche markets of Asia, Australia, and the United States.

Guimaras has been strictly quarantined to protect the native mangoes from being contaminated with pests that might be brought by the entry of infected alien mangoes.

Nava stressed the prestigious Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) would protect Guimaras mangoes from being used as label by other and outside producers.

Guimaras’ request for the IPR is now pending at the Intellectual Property Office in Manila.

The registered GIs consist of the name of place from which a product originated – it is a sign used on goods that possess characteristics, qualities or a reputation essentially attributable to their geographic origin.

A registered GI may be accorded the same rights as a registered trademark or exclusive rights to use a certain brand for promotions and marketing.

Once registered, Guimaras mangoes would join the league of chosen few world-renowned homegrown brands in the likes of Darjeeling Tea from Darjeeling City, India; Champagne from Champagne province, Northeast France; Tequila from Tequila, Guadalajara, Mexico; Parmesan cheese from Parmigiano Region, Italy and Parma ham from Parma City, Italy.

With these sweet promising potentials globally, undoubtedly Guimaras is truly an “island that fits your taste!”

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