REF: Philippine Design Policy


Part 2 of the Discussion is in MAROON, just scroll down to that part.


Actual Text of RA 10557 from

Discussion Points/Notes from BRIAN TENORIO about the recently signed RA 10557 Philippine Design Competitiveness Act of 2013


H. No. 6852

S. No. 3071

Republic of the Philippines

Congress of the Philippines

Metro Manila

Fifteenth Congress

Third Regular Session


Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-third day of July, two thousand twelve.



Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

Before anything else, I am extremely happy that Design has now been formally appropriated as a driver of economic growth, development, and wellbeing (and happiness!) by RA 10557. For the groups, individuals, and government offices who were part of this Design Milestone in our country, please point your browsers to the website of Senator TG Guingona and other various articles and write-ups about “Philippine Design” and “National Design Policy”. Please Google those phrases up for all the various individuals and organizations involved. Congratulations to you all! Special mention goes to TG, JA/TM, AA, AS, DM, AJD, MG, KC, AG and everyone else advocating for Filipino Design!


MABUHAY ang Philippine Design!

SECTION 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Philippine Design Competitiveness Act of 2013″. “Competitiveness” in the title; very much aligned with the title of other government initiatives, “National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines” for example. Competitiveness may be one of the more articulated themes of the Aquino Administration.


SEC. 2. Statement of Policy. – It is the declared policy of the State to enhance the competitiveness and innovation of Philippine products, create market-responsive design services, while advocating for economic and environmental sustainability. The State shall also endeavor to promote an economy and society driven by design and creativity responsive to our fast-changing times and reflective of the Filipino culture and identity, while concurrently advocating the protection of intellectual property rights to these ideas and innovations. There are always at least three bottom lines to any human endeavor (at least currently): People, Planet, and Profit. Sec.2 highlights these bottom lines as it explicitly mentions “economic and environmental sustainability.” “Sustainability” used here also emphasizes the preference for projects that last, are planned for long term returns, and that all of us (or at least most of us Filipinos) can live with for a long time.

Also, IP or Intellectual Property is mentioned explicitly. IP is one of the essential components of the development of a country’s Design Industries.


SEC. 3. Objectives. – The State shall promote and strengthen the Philippine design industry to achieve the following objectives:

(a) Create integrated, forward-thinking and long-range direction and strategy for the design industry;

(b) Provide long-term guidance to promote national awareness on the use of design as a strategic tool for economic competitiveness and social innovation;

(c) Integrate design into other industries and aspects of society in order to create a demand for good design, and to extend its impact economically, socially and environmentally;

(d) Incorporate design as a priority component in national planning and development; and

(e) Ultimately, encourage and drive innovation so that the Philippines may use as leverage our raw materials, natural resources and creativity to stay ahead of the curve.


I am loving these words:

  • STRATEGY; how things are planned to be done, while conscious of resources and maximizing returns – practically, “Doing More with Less”. That is Strategy.
  • GOOD DESIGN; “Good Design” as a key term has been around for several decades now. It is important to discuss Design this way, because if I were to define Design as “creativity used for problem solving” then there are designs that don’t work (at least all the time, or most times), and are, hence, not good (enough, maybe, or for now even).
  • PRIORITY COMPONENT; Organizations and even individuals can save a lot of resources by integrating Design at the beginning of any bottom line endeavor. I’ve seen so many companies assign designers the last stage of their product development – only for packaging or even just for marketing. Products and services have more value (and create less waste) when Design happens in the beginning of the development process. This is true too for policy and development work.


SEC. 4. Reengineering the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines and Strengthening its Mandate. – The Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines (PDDCP) is hereby reengineered and renamed into the Design Center of the Philippines, herein referred to as the Design Center. It shall be attached to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It is mandated to promote design as a creative tool for improving the quality and competitiveness and branding of Filipino products in the global market; as a strategic tool of value creation for sustainable economic growth and development; and as an innovative tool for enhancing the quality of human life.


Years ago, the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines used to be called the “Design Center of the Philippines”. (No “Product Development” there, as ProductDev, really is a part of Design. Well, at least, good Design. And now this RA brings it back to that. Good idea!


The Design Center is further mandated to:

(a) Develop and maintain a creative research and development program on product design, development and improvement of Philippine products and services, including those created by the small and medium enterprises (SMEs);

(b) Conduct continuing research on product and product packaging design trends, materials and processing technologies;

(c) Create, develop, promote and upgrade the design of all Philippine products and services, including those created by the SMEs;

(d) Conduct seminars and workshops on product design and development;

(e) Set up design exhibitions;

(f) Publish design-related materials;

(g) Ensure protection of Filipino design ideas, products and other outputs of creative talents;

(h) Promote design education throughout the country to meet the needs of Philippine industries; and

(i) Promote Philippine design here and all over the world.



Sec 4 is very important because it discusses the nature and MANDATE of the Design Center of the Philippines. Later on in this text, you will read why.

Before RA 10557, the mandate of the Design Center (from its website) involves

  1. Provide product identification, research, and development services to the private sector;
  2. Conduct seminars and workshops on product design and development;
  3. Set up design exhibitions;
  4. Publish product design-related materials;
  5. Conduct continuing research on product and design trends and processing technologies.

So the new mandate now explicitly assigns these new objectives to the Design Center:

  1. Research not only Product Development but also Creative Services (this should include creativity in Technology, Media, etc.)
  2. Stronger SME-focus
  3. Protection of Filipino Intellectual Property
  4. Promotion of Design Education
  5. Promotion of Filipino Design to the World


To effectively carry out this mandate, the Design Center shall exercise the following powers and functions:


National Design Policy

(1) Formulate the National Design Policy, herein referred to as the NDP, aligning it with the government’s economic agenda;

(2) Continuously formulate five (5)-year plans that are in line with the general NDP, but reflective of the changing conditions in both the domestic and international environments;

(3) Coordinate, monitor and assess the implementation of the NDP, and, when necessary, update the NDP in the light of changing market conditions in both the domestic and international environments;

(4) Establish an evaluation system through which the results of the NDP (as well as singular projects and programs) could be assessed and improved;

(5) Collaborate internationally with similar design policy advisory bodies of other countries and gain insights and investigate on how successful design practices in other countries can be transferred and adapted in the context of Filipino creative and knowledge-based industries as well as transition to the conceptual-based economy;

(6) Establish dialogue with designers to encourage them to actively engage in the implementation of design policy;

(7) Provide a forum for design stakeholders on current and emerging issues in the design profession;

Design Awareness

(8) Promote the design profession and the value of design;

(9) Build awareness of the importance of design to the public, through local and international exhibitions, conferences, competitions, community and school activities and other design-related events;

(10) Promote awareness on the protection of intellectual property rights;

(11) Establish more public creative zones and environments in Metro Manila and other central hubs in different regions across the country;

Design Integration

(12) Create networks and establish venues where all industries could interact in design dialogues and workshops, thereby promoting knowledge exchange, capability development and collaborative content creation;

(13) Identify and encourage public and private collaborations regarding design, competitiveness, governance and innovation to promote networking, business and partnership opportunities;

Design for Development

(14) Conduct design-led approaches and competitions for the design industry to help government solve socioeconomic and environmental challenges;

(15) Actively push for the use of design and innovation in government offices and departments, with the objective of coming up with programs and processes that will enable the government to simplify and streamline systems, so it can deliver its services more effectively and efficiently;

(16) Maintain a standard of sustainable design in all projects that are undertaken by the Design Center;

(17) Employ design as a fundamental tool for communicating a strong, singular identity of the country;

Design and Innovation

(18) Create a skill development, mentoring and support system for individuals, corporations, partnerships or associations, particularly SMEs, who want to benefit from the strategic use of good design in business administration, commerce, trade and other enterprises; and

(19) Undertake research and development on the different design strengths and assets of the Philippines (i.e. manipulation and development of raw materials that are indigenous to the country) so we can be able to come up with globally relevant yet uniquely Filipino innovations.


This is the first time in the RA that NATIONAL DESIGN POLICY (NDP) is discussed. This part of Sec 4 states the the NDP shall be drafted and created by the Design Center.

While there should be a Design Industry Vision set for the next 20 years (after 20×2 or 40 years, by 2050, we’d be one of this planet’s biggest populations), the NDP roadmap gets evaluated and re-determined every five years. This is good, but I just wonder how this aligns or will be affected by the change of administration happening every six years.

How do you evaluate Design? Or Design Policy? The Design Center is tasked to create the metrics for those. Yes, Design and especially Design for various bottom lines will have metrics (numbers) that can be determined. That would be trickier to do with Art (which is, policy-wise, different from Design) but that is another RA, and Art Development is handled by another agency anyway, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

In this part also is the term “design policy advisory body” mentioned. Later on, in the text, you will read it to be the “Design Advisory Council” (DAC). While other countries have “Design Councils” and “Design Boards”, the DAC, is something that is unique to the Philippines, at least initially and/or essentially.

This section, in short, outlines the functions and roles of the Design Center of the Philippines:

  1. To formulate, manage, implement, evaluate, and develop the National Design Policy of our country, while linking us with everyone else around the world
  2. Promote Design
  3. Link up Designers and Industries
  4. Develop the country’s Design force/capabilities/influence
  5. Drive Innovation

The next section defines the Design Advisory Council (DAC), discusses its composition (who sits on the board), and its functions. The gist of the RA goes this way: the DAC advises on and consults for the Design Center (the agency tasked to implement the programs).

I shall post my notes about the next sections in the next few days.

– Brian Tenorio

SEC. 5. Creation of the Design Advisory Council. – There shall be created a Design Advisory Council, herein referred to as the DAC, which shall be a public-private partnership that will serve as an Advisory Council to the Design Center. The DAC shall advise the Design Center in the formulation and implementation of policies that will enhance the quality of competitiveness of Philippine products and services and shall support the Philippine government in its efforts to enhance the level of innovation and creativity in Philippine industries. These are my new notes (Part 2) for the new DesignRA. The text is in maroon.

Ideas, comments, and discussions (over coffee, better!) are very much welcome. Message me at –Brian Tenorio


Please take note of these terms and acronyms:

DesignRA – a bill is a an idea that is suggested to become a law. A Republic Act or RA is (already) a law.

Appropriation – budget/money assigned to enforce a law

DAC – Design Advisory Council, this is different from Design Council which is another form of organization that is existent in other countries.


It could have been sooner, way sooner, as some countries that have experienced fast growth in the last two decades have had agencies focused on Design since the 1990s. Nevertheless, these are still exciting times for Philippine Design. And with most good things, the timing is always perfect.


From an initial text search online, the Philippines may be one of the few countries, if not the only one, to have a “Design ADVISORY Council” (more advisory than executive).


This can be a disadvantage or advantage to our country but I personally feel that this may be the latter (good/advantage) for the following reasons:

1. Since other councils and forms of organization are already existent in other countries, we can use them as models for best practices as we create our own.

2. Timing is just right — the Philippines is on an upward trend in so many fields and sectors. Design is and can be one of the major drivers for this growth BECAUSE Creativity and resourcefulness are naturally available in our country. We may not have the best technologies (yet) but with being creative, resourceful, and industrious, we could catch up.

3. This upward trend also means that Filipino culture and products would be more appreciated, visible, and better valued. Our population is growing too, which means that there will be more Filipinos in our country and throughout the diaspora. This means that there is an exponentially growing need for Filipino products that SHOULD be designed and made by Filipinos here in the Philippines.


SEC. 6. Powers and Functions of the Design Advisory Council. – The DAC shall advocate and promote the strategic role of design in strengthening sustainability of Philippine socioeconomic growth and competitiveness. It shall exercise the following powers and functions:

(a) Provide advice and insights imperative in pursuing the mandate of the Design Center by effectively representing the collective views of both the public and the private sectors;

(b) Advocate for full consideration of design’s contribution to program effectiveness and innovation in government policy decisions;

(c) Review and promote policies where design is a key component;

(d) Act as a liaison among the professional design, design education and government design stakeholders; and

(e) Provide advice and guidance to design education institutions on the development and standardization of course syllabus, ensuring the propagation of high quality education in design in all regions across the country.

While the DAC is ADVISORY in nature (The middle “A” in the acronym stands for “Advisory”), Sec 6 outlines the DAC’s Powers and Functions:

  • Provide advice to the Design Center
    • insight: This is a more formal form of engagement, and not similar to having consultants called in from time to time to give advice. In this case, the board is already equipped by its membership to give advice and insight.
  • Advocate Design as a driver for progress
    • insight: I think organizations already do this, but what this part really means is that the larger part of the DAC that is composed of representatives from government agencies are mandated by this law to really effectively advocate design as a driver for progress.
  • Review the policies as they are drafted
    • insight: This is a more formal engagement and not anymore consultants or experts called in typically for time-based projects
  • Support policies when they are implemented
    • insight: This is more for the government-members of the DAC and not the private sector counterparts.
  • Liaison between the private sector (professional design groups) and the government stakeholders — practically representing these various groups to the government in discussions
    • insight: This is more for the private sector members of the DAC and not the government agencies involved.
  • Guide education institutions
    • This would not be similar to other education-oriented organizations such as CHED or the Department of Education which sets the standards and calls for requirements from various educational institutions. In this case, the DAC will merely provide advice and guidance and most probably act a resource or venue for the development of Design Education in the Philippines. Currently, that task is more often present in private sector work (via CSR efforts of companies, and training and workshops provided by international Design-oriented organizations that have their offices in the country). 
    • We should realize that any country spreading its culture through education and design promotion would mean a larger demand for its products and output. One very good example would be how French or British or Korean organizations have arts and cultural programs set up in the Philippines. By introducing their cultures this way to ours, we have a deeper appreciation of their products, eventually creating a bigger demand for them (French wine, British education, KPop, respectively and for example).
SEC. 7. Composition of the Design Advisory Council.The DAC shall be composed of fifteen (15) members from the following government departments or offices:

(a) Department of Trade and Industry (DTI):

(1) Secretary of the DTI;

(2) Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM); and

(3) Intellectual Property Office (IPO);

(b) National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA);

(c) Department of Tourism (DOT);

(d) Department of Education (DepED);

(e) Commission on Higher Education (CHED); and

(f) Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The Executive Director of the Design Center shall be an ex officio member of the Council to be appointed by the President.

The other six (6) remaining members of the DAC shall come from the organized associations involved in the sector, academic community engaged in design courses and representatives of the private sector including, but not limited to, visual communications, architecture, industrial design, interior design, information design, new media and technology, fashion design, environmental design and similar areas.

The representatives of the private sector shall be appointed by the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the DTI from the nominees to be submitted by the organizations of the various design sectors.

The Council shall be co-chaired by the Secretary of the DTI and the representative from the private sector, to be appointed by the President from among the private sector appointees.

The presence of eight (8) members shall constitute a quorum, and all decisions of the Council shall require the concurrence of the majority of such quorum. The members of the DAC shall receive per diems for every meeting attended at rates allowed under existing rules and regulations. The DAC may meet not more than twice a month. However, the Chairman may call a special meeting when the need arises.

The Design Center shall act as the Secretariat of the Council.


So according to Section 7, the DAC will have the following composition:

  • TOTAL: 21
  • CO-CHAIRED by the
    • DTI SECRETARY (Department of Trade and Industry) Secretary and
    • A PRIVATE SECTOR REPRESENTATIVE (note at this point that this representative may not necessarily be a practicing “Designer” (quotation marks mine) but could also be a professional working closely or within the Design Industries (e.g. Entrepreneur working with Designers, Design Manager, Advertising Professional, Media Professional linked with the Design Industries, etc.)
  • MEMBERS FROM GOVERNMENT: 15 members from Government (government officials) from these agencies: DTI, CITEM, IPO, NCCA, DOT, DepED, CHED, DOST, the Design Center
  • MEMBERS FROM PRIVATE SECTOR: 6 members from the Private Sector (as assigned by the various industry organizations in visual communications, architecture, fashion, etc.)
    • appointed by the President
    • as recommended by the DTI (only natural to feel that these may have to be individuals coming from organizations that are registered with the DTI — another layer right there)
    • based on the nominations by the various industry organizations.
    • That’s three layers to of nominations/approvals.
    • 8 of 21 members (that’s one third) make a quorum, typical
    • per diems are given
    • meetings around twice a month, typical
    • the Design Center will ask as Secretariat — as expected for these objectives
    • The tricky part here is figuring out or determining which of the various organizations who represent an industry actually represent that industry.
      • Is it tenure (how long the organization has been in existence)?
      • Is it composition (who’s in that organization)?
      • Is it seniority (younger orgs are out)?
      • Is it the integrity of their registration (are they a formally registered organization with our trade department, DTI, or are they an informal set of people working to develop their industry)?
      • And finally, how big should these organizations be? If for example, a much older organization only has half the influence (per capita) of a newer organization — which one would represent their industry?
    • My suggestion has always been the same from since last 2012. One of the first tasks of the council or the group drafting its implementing rules and regulations would be to facilitate and moderate the formalization of the industry organizations across the different industries from the design sector. If for example, “X” Design Industry still does not have a formal organization or still has many smaller ones, then it may be to the advantage of this industry/subsector to have a unified organization or at least fewer but bigger ones.
SEC. 8. Powers and Functions of the Executive Director of the Design Center. – The Design Center shall have an Executive Director, who shall execute, administer and implement the policies, plans and measures approved by the DAC and perform such other functions as may be necessary to carry out specific responsibilities in connection with said plans and measures.

A quarterly report of the accomplishments of the Design Center shall be submitted by the Executive Director to the DAC. The DAC shall submit an annual report to the President of the Philippines not later than one (1) month after the end of each year.


I shall post my notes about the next sections in the next few days.– Brian Tenorio
SEC. 9. The National Design Policy. – The NDP shall serve as the State’s strategy in promoting design as a driving force towards a sustainable economic growth and development and a catalyst for increasing the competitiveness of the country in the global market. The NDP shall be created to meet the following goals:

(a) Global Competitiveness:

(1) Elevate Philippine designs and innovation toward global standards through collaboration with international design organizations;

(2) Enhance the competitiveness and innovation of Philippine products and services, making it more responsive to social needs while advocating for economic and environmental sustainability;

(3) Create a distinctive and recognizable identity for Philippine products through global positioning and branding of Philippine designs;

(4) Build the competitiveness and capabilities of Filipino designers through continuous trainings, seminars and workshops, and collaborations with Philippine manufacturers; and

(5) Provide opportunities for Filipino designers to showcase their talent locally and internationally.

(b) Institutionalization and Promotion of Design Culture Nationwide:

(1) Encourage the creation of original designs in Philippine-made products and services by blending native and heritage-based aesthetics indigenous arts, crafts and materials and current global design trends;

(2) Promote the understanding of diverse Philippine cultures so that it can be translated into modern design concepts that enable an innovation process that is uniquely Filipino;

(3) Enhance the quality of the Philippine products and services and productivity of the Philippine manufacturers through design;

(4) Create design awareness among manufacturers and service providers, particularly the SMEs, on the competitiveness brought about by original designs;

(5) Conduct programs that will challenge designers, design students and ordinary citizens to actively engage in solving and mitigating socioeconomic and environmental problems through design-led approaches;

(6) Establish networks and resources for knowledge exchange and capability development leveraging on automation, computerized and web-based services; and

(7) Encourage the collaboration and partnerships among local stakeholders of the design industry such as industry associations, management of the SMEs, Filipino designers, the academe, government agencies and other private organizations.

(c) Creation of an Environment to Cultivate a Constant Demand for Good Design:

(1) Ensure the balance of supply (designers) and demand (private and public organizations, whether local or international) of the design industry;

(2) Promote an appreciation for good design not only among citizens, but also within business organizations and government institutions; and

(3) Create linkages with the business sector, the educational sector, government institutions and the public in general to encourage them to employ and invest in good design.

(d) Design Protection:

(1) Promote Philippine designs through registration of Intellectual Property Rights and through Technology Licensing Offices; and

(2) Encourage and facilitate a culture of creating and protecting intellectual property in the area of design.

(e) Design Education and Professional Development:

(1) Elevate design education and design research in the Philippines to global standards of excellence;

(2) Invest on appropriate infrastructure and technology to support design;

(3) Establish an active collaboration among industry, professional designers and the academe towards the development of the design profession; and

(4) Inculcate among the youth the value of good design in enhancing the quality of human life by including design appreciation in the curriculum.

(f) Institutionalization of Design as an Effective Problem-Solving Tool:

(1) Conceptualize effective and sustainable design-related approaches to drive economic growth and development;

(2) Seek design solutions for issues related to social innovation and environmental sustainability and protection;

(3) Expand awareness on the benefits of the strategic use of good design in business and government administration, trade and commerce, as well as in the SMEs; and

(4) Encourage the government to invest on activities geared towards increasing the competitiveness of Philippine design and creative industries.


SEC. 10. Design Industries Linkages with the Educational System. – To ensure a continuous supply of creative talents and to stimulate design creativity and innovation among students at all levels of education, the DepED, the CHED and the TESDA, in consultation with and assistance of the Design Center, shall formulate measures to establish a stronger connection between arts, culture, education and training, and to harness the potentials of the youth.


SEC. 11. Appropriations. – The amount necessary to carry out the initial implementation of this Act shall be charged against the current year’s appropriations of the PDDCP. Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary for the continued implementation of this Act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.


SEC. 12. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – The DTI shall issue the implementing rules and regulations within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act.



SEC. 13. Repealing Clause. – Executive Order No. 133, s. 1987 is hereby amended accordingly. All other laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations, or parts thereof as are inconsistent with this Act, are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.


SEC. 14. Separability Clause. – The provisions of this Act are hereby declared separable, and in the event any of its provisions is declared unconstitutional, the other provisions which are not affected thereby shall remain in force and effect.

SEC. 15. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation in the country.





President of the Senate


Speaker of the House

of Representatives

This Act which is a consolidation of House Bill No. 6852 and Senate Bill No. 3071 was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on February 4, 2013 and February 6, 2013, respectively.



Acting Senate Secretary


Secretary General

House of Representatives

Approved: MAY 15 2013


President of the Philippines




Read the press release from the Office of Senator TG Guingona here.