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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 21, 2023



                                  GMA & IPOPHL OFFICERS AT CONTRACT SIGNING 

L-R: Joseph Francia, GMA First VP and Head of International Operations, Felipe S. Yalong, GMA Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Atty Rowel Barba, IPOPHL Director General and Atty Ann Claire Cabochan, IPOPHL Deputy Director General. Photo credit: IPOPHL

GMA Network Anti-Piracy Committee and representatives. L-R: Joebee Capino (Digital Rights Officer, GMA New Media Inc.), Joseph Francia (First VP and Head of International Operations), Cherry FlorCruz (Senior International Operations Manager), Atty Lynn Delfin (First VP Legal Affairs), Felipe S. Yalong (Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer), Rossette Roa (AVP Viewer Directed Marketing), Edwin Jimenez (OIC, ICT), Dingdong Caharian (President and Chief Operating Officer, GMA New Media Inc.)


THE COUNTRY'S LEADING BROADCAST company GMA Network and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) have joined hands in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) signed last October 5 to combat digital piracy in the Philippines. This collaboration marks a crucial step towards protecting intellectual property rights in the broadcast and content creation industry.

The MOU was signed by GMA Network Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Felipe S. Yalong and IPOPHL Director General Atty. Rowel Barba.

Also in attendance, representing the GMA Anti-Piracy Committee were GMA First Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia, GMA Network First Vice President for Legal Affairs Atty. Lynn P. Delfin. From IPOPHL, Deputy Director General Atty. Ann Claire C. Cabochan, and Supervising Director of IPR Enforcement Office Atty. Christine V. Pangilinan-Canlapan were also present.

The primary objectives of the MOU are to establish a framework for cooperation and collaboration between GMA and IPOPHL in the enforcement and protection of intellectual property (IP) rights; to formalize and intensify joint anti-piracy initiatives and campaigns; and to facilitate capacity building, awareness creation, communication, and information exchange to combat digital piracy effectively.

“This is very important not only for the Network but also for the creators of content. This will protect their rights, their ownership over video and audio, especially now that we’re in the digital age. We are all in support of this endeavor. 

Should they (IPOPHL) need a platform to educate, especially the Filipinos heavily engaged in digital assets or on the digital side, we can help them in ensuring that viewers are also informed about the rights of content creators,” says Yalong.

DG Barba adds: “GMA Network has been one of the pioneers in the world of entertainment, producing content that resonates with the audience across the globe. 

"Your commitment to creativity, storytelling, and innovation is mirrored in your desire to protect your intellectual property from unauthorized distribution and piracy. 

"Together, we will embark on a journey to raise awareness about perilous piracy and to develop effective strategies for combating this persistent challenge. 

"This endeavor is not just a legal or commercial undertaking, it is a moral imperative, it is a stand for the rights of creators, the protection of innovation, and the preservation of the vibrant tapestry of ideas that shape our cultural landscape.”

In his opening remarks during the ceremony, Francia announces: “Today’s signing of our Memorandum of Understanding formalizes our partnership and builds on what we started in our shared advocacy on anti-piracy. 

"With the blessing of GMA Network, our MOU seeks to set the framework for cooperation and collaboration between the parties in order to strengthen the fight against digital piracy in the Philippines. 

"We are confident that together we can accomplish so much more in protecting intellectual property rights of our creative industry, protect the livelihoods of so many people in the creative sector, and help grow the contribution of the creative industry in our economy.”

Atty. Delfin, during her speech, declares: “This would facilitate better collaboration between GMA and IPOPHL, and this partnership will provide stronger safeguards against those who violate the intellectual property rights not just of GMA but the whole creative industry.

"Protecting the intellectual property rights of producers, directors, writers, researchers, and entrepreneurs is going to require a creative and holistic approach by both the private sector and the public sector.

"And this collaboration between GMA and IPOPHL with this MOU signing is a step towards that direction.”

Atty. Cabochan, on the other hand, also expresses her unwavering support: “Through this MOU, we are sending a powerful message to the world, that together, we are united in the fight against piracy, and we are resolute in our mission to protect the rights of artists, media producers, and content creators.”

Atty. Canlapan also emphasizes the importance of the partnership: “In this partnership, we also vow to bolster our fight against online piracy, which, not only undermines intellectual property but also poses significant cybersecurity risks. 

"At the heart of our alliance lies the unwavering dedication to championing the rights of content creators and journalists. We recognize their pivotal role in shaping society and we vow to protect their invaluable work.”

Additionally, GMA Network and IPOPHL also successfully conducted an Intellectual Property Learning Session for GMA employees as part of IPOPHL’s capacity building initiatives. 

The session was participated by over 240 employees from GMA and IPOPHL. It aimed to educate GMA employees on the value of protecting intellectual property, ultimately fortifying the foundation of creative and journalistic excellence in the digital age.


The collaboration between GMA Network and IPOPHL sends a clear message in the fight against digital piracy in the Philippines, with both organizations committed to creating an environment where creators and innovators can feel secure in their endeavors.