MIAMI— Ask for Philippine products—possibly malunggay tea, coconut sugar and even San Miguel beer the next time you go on board some of the world’s leading cruise lines, the Philippine Embassy said today.

In his report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario, Ambassador Cuisia said officials of Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Lines whom he met during a recent economic diplomacy mission in Florida have all expressed serious interest in carrying products from the Philippines in their cruise ships.

“The cruise lines welcomed our proposals for them to carry Philippine-made products such as souvenirs and furniture as well as other alternatives that they could offer their health conscious guests such as coconut sugar and malunggay tea,” Ambassador Cuisia said.

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Agriculture Attache Josyline Javelosa, who accompanied Ambassador Cuisia in the mission, said coconut sugar and malunggay tea are among the products that have proven to be promising in terms of consumer reception in United States-based trade shows such as the Natural Products Expositions and Kosherfest participated in by Filipino food manufacturers during the past few years.

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Path towards the removal of the Philippines from the Special 301 List

Atty. Allan Gepty, Deputy Director General of IPOPHL and Mr. Ronald N. Ricketts, Chairman and CEO of the Philippine Optical Media Board came to Washington, DC in January 2014 engage face to face with US government and industry stakeholders and provide updates on the developments and improvements in the IPR policy environment in the Philippines and discuss the capacity building program on IP enforcement in the Philippines. The meetings discussed the heightened interest of American businesses in the Philippines due to the improvement in the business environment.

"Removal from the Special 301 Watch List would definitely be a big boost to the morale and motivation to the institutions and the people in the Philippines who have been working very hard to address IPR infringements especially those involved in enforcement", according to Maria Roseni "Nini" M. Alvero, The Embassy Commercial Counselor and DTI representative in Washington DC. She continues, " Over-all, it would inevitably result in even more visibility, increased market presence, better supply chain and cost competitiveness making the Philippines more attractive to investors from the high tech and innovative industries and sectors".

With Michael Diehl  and Christine Brown at USTR

With Michael Diehl and Christine Brown at USTR": USTR Director for Southeast Asia and Pacific Affairs Christine Brown and USTR Director for Intellectual Property and Innovation in front of the USTR Building in Washington DC.

Bawal Kumopya

" Bawal Kumopya " : Atty. Allan Gepty, Deputy Director General of IPOPhil and OMB Chair Ronnie Ricketts presents to Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr. and Commercial Counselor and DTI Special Trade Representative Maria Roseni M. Alvero the slogan "Bawal Kumopya" , a campaign to uphold the rights of intellectual property rights owners in the Philippines.

With US Chamber of Commerce

"With US Chamber of Commerce": The Philippine Team with US Chamber of Commerce Senior Director for Southeast Asia, Mr. John Goyer and Executive Director for International Intellectual property (IP), Mr. Jasper MacSlarrow. The US Chamber of Commerce as the voice of US business expressed the heightened interest of American companies and investors for the removal of the Philippines from the watchlist in recognition of the improvement in the IPR regime which would further result in a favorable business environment that encourages increased US investments, wider market presence, better supply chain and cost competitiveness.


"ICE" : US enforcement agencies expressed commitment to support the Philippines capacity and capability building efforts.

Watch 2014 Special 301 Hearing Part 3


A Philippine Furniture Industry Showcase

Buyer's Night:


The Buyers’ Night was opened by Philippine Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Jose L. Cuisia Jr., Commercial Counselor and DTI Special Trade Representative Maria Roseni Alvero, and Mr. Clayton Oxford of Phillips Collection. buyersnightcompile

More than 60 guests graced the “Buyers Only” event and showed appreciation for the Philippine-made home accents. Most of the attendees are members of the high-end interior design industry and furniture and home furnishings retail industry in the Washington Metro, and the surrounding Virginia and Maryland areas.

Ambassador Cuisia and STR Alvero presenting the exhibit to Japanese Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Kenichiro Sasae, who showed appreciation of the uniqueness of furniture design and artisanal creations from the Philippines.

Made in PH Furniture Exhibit at the Philippine Embassy

A furniture exhibit entitled “Made in PH” was held at the Philippine Embassy on November 19-22, 2013.

A first of its kind at the Embassy, the Exhibit featured the uniqueness, beauty and craftsmanship of furniture and home furnishing pieces from the Philippines, through trendsetting product displays from six iconic Philippine manufacturers namely, Bon-Ace, Enpekei, Heinimex, Lightworks, Nature’s Legacy, and Ann Pamintuan.

The Exhibit was made possible through the multi-awarded furniture importing company, Phillips Collection of High Point, North Carolina, the hub of the furniture trade in the United States. Phillips Collection is a longtime importer of exquisite furniture and home furnishing pieces from the Philippines.

The Exhibit was marked by multiple events such as the Opening Night attended by US Government Officials and the Diplomatic Community, a Buyers’ Night, and a Reception for the Filipino-American Community and Media.

Following is an excerpt of the letter of Mr. Mark Phillips, CEO/President, of Phillips Collection to DTI Commercial Counselor Maria Roseni M. Alvero about the Event:

February 18, 2014

Dear Maria,

Thank you again for allowing Phillips Collection to partner with you in presenting our world class Philippine products in your Washington DC Embassy. We were thrilled at the reaction to our offerings - from the government guests to the buyers to the Filipino-American community. All of the visitors were surprised and impressed by the caliber of design and manufacture. They shouldn’t have been!

It is our job to let the world know to expect product excellence from the Philippines

. . . . Although it is impossible to precisely measure the dint of our efforts, I can tell you that since our presentation, our orders are up. . . . And I am proud to tell you that in our industry awards ceremony in Dallas in the following month we received an unprecedented two ARTs awards, for Best Accent Furniture Company and for Best Designer. Clearly, the bulk of that great furniture and design came from the Philippines.

It is important that we brand superior talent and workmanship. Synergies are created when the greatness of one area results in a halo of elevated expectation in another. “Of course it’s beautiful, it’s from the Philippines.” You can be sure that not one visiting government official left without a higher regard of what your proud nation can produce. And the pride of your entire staff, from your eloquent Ambassador on down, was palpable.

We all need to rally around our stars. In three nights we got to show the world how outstanding a partnership can be. Unpretentiously bringing unexpectedly great products to your government offices allowed you to humbly “brag” about how high you can fly. I hope you will be able to aggressively grow this subtle and effective venue and partnership in many other industries. Best regards,

Mark Phillips CEO/President Phillips Collection