MANILA – The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) and its members are pushing for the amendment to the country’s intellectual property (IP) code to make it more attuned to the digital age by addressing online piracy.

In a statement on Monday, Globe Telecom Inc. (Globe) and its entertainment arm KROMA -- both partners of AVIA -- said the proposed House Bill No. 0799 aims to boost the power of regulators against online piracy through permanent blocking orders, takedown orders, cease-and-desist or disable access orders.

“Currently, the IP code’s definition of pirated goods does not cover electronic or online content, a loophole that has enabled online piracy to fester. The code also lacks a provision that would allow for the efficient and effective blocking of pirate sites, thereby inhibiting enforcement,” Globe-KROMA said.

It said the importance of IP rights would help the Marcos administration turn its eight-point agenda into reality by “increasing employability, encouraging research and innovation, and enhancing the digital economy.”

On Sept. 2, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda spoke about the urgency and necessity of updating the IP code to help transform the country into “one of the largest exporters of creative goods in developing economies” during the Digital Piracy Summit by the Coalition Against Piracy.

Salceda said the existing IP code could not anticipate the digital space's ubiquity when it was enacted in 1997, with the lack of IP protection becoming a “barrier to economic growth.”

He noted how the Metro Manila Film Festival earned an estimated gross revenue of PHP30 million in 2020 through digital platforms during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, a far cry from the PHP1.06 billion earned in 2018 and PHP955 million in 2019 through cinemas.

HB 0799, or “An Act Establishing the Revised Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines,” was introduced by Salceda in July. (PNA)