THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said two products from Bohol — a variety of ube known as Kinampay, and an artisanally-produced sea salt known as Tibuok — are candidates to be added to the list of products granted Philippine geographical indications (GIs) protection.

The IPOPHL’s Bureau of Trademarks (BoT) added Ube Kinampay and Asin Tibuok join a lineup of 31 potential Philippine GIs recognized for their distinct characteristics, reputation, geographical connection and cultural significance.

Some of the other products include Guimaras mangoes, Tau Sebu T’nalak weave, and Bicol Pili.

Asin Tibuok is produced via a traditional method which filters seawater through the ashes of coconut husks.

“We are aware that your Ube Kinampay and Asin Tibuok are already popular in various circles. We want to expand those circles by helping you protect and maintain your name, your reputation. Branding your products assures consumers of the quality, and this in turn will create demand and opportunities for better market access and revenue generation,” BoT Director Jesus Antonio Z. Ros said in a statement on Monday.

IPOPHL said the producers of Ube Kinampay have expressed interest in GI protection for products such as ube jam and polvoron.

Ube Kinampay sells for P70 to P90 per kilogram if sourced directly from farmers.

“We recognize Bohol’s potential, especially with its already recovering tourism industry. You have so much to offer. But I sincerely hope that more than that, we will be able to amplify your province’s rich culture, and branding is one of the most effective means to do that,” Mr. Ros said.

Kinampay is planted only once a year and can be harvested after six to eight months.

“However, in recent years, the province saw a significant decline in the production of this ube variety, from 30,074 metric tons (MT) in 2006 to just 13,957 MT in 2020,” IPOPHL said.

Asin Tibuok is growing in popularity with chefs and food enthusiasts and takes up to three months to prepare. It emerges from the production process in the shape of large eggs weighing 1 kilo each, from which it derives its name “tibuok,” which means “unbroken” in Boholano.

GIs are granted trademark protection Republic Act No. 8923 or the IP Code.  — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave