Project lead and co-author of RA 10557 (under the Office of Senator Teofisto Guingona III)
There was very little to no government support or recognition for other fields of design beyond fashion, interior, furniture, and packaging design.
In my discussions with design advocates from the graphic design industry, there was a clamor for more attention on design as a professional industry, an economic driver, and a tool for nation-building.
The Philippine Design Competitiveness Act is a policy that mandates the State to promote and strengthen the Philippine design industry.
Here you will find a visual briefer that summarizes the law's goals and pertinent details.
(PS. The diagrams you will find here are the same diagrams I attempted to insert in the law itself for more clarity for the layman, but was eventually coerced into removing "if I wanted it passed" -- because according to the old guards, "it just hasn't been done before.")
I had to remind myself to breathe in, breathe out, and not to smack anybody.
... We'll get there. Baby steps.
The bill was first filed in May 2011 (when I was 22 years old), and was passed in May 2013 (I was 24).
Aside from seeing the process through, from conceptualization to the law's passage, one of the key results that I am most proud of is that this Republic Act officially redefined how Design is perceived by the Philippine government.
Before, when I talked about design, people in the government would always ask me if I was referring to clothes or furniture or graphic posters. (... Yeaaah, it was pretty torturous.)
Now, as per my recommendation, the definition of design is now officially stipulated in Philippine law as:
"A way of thinking and a problem-solving process that is user-centered, collaborative, multi-disciplinary and makes ideas tangible, whether in the form of products, services or experiences."
MY BIGGEST CHALLENGES & LEARNINGS
This was my major policy project for Senator Teofisto Guingona III, while serving as his policy and programs consultant from 2010 until September 2013.
My work on the Philippine Design Competitiveness Act (PDCA) is my most challenging leadership role to date. Having no prior legislative or political experience, it was a daunting task to have the leadership role personally entrusted to me.
At the same time, it was a project that I really wanted to spearhead, as I am fiercely passionate about design - especially about design for social impact.
I had to hold my own in meetings with local and foreign government officials, deliver my own presentations for undersecretaries and directors, most of whom were more than twice as old and twice as experienced as I was.
The entire journey, from start to finish, was such a rare opportunity for growth and leadership - especially for somebody my age. It definitely built my confidence and courage, and taught me how to make my youth and inexperience my strength, rather than my weakness.
COLLABORATORS & PARTNERS
- Jowee Alviar, Creative Director of Team Manila
- Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Executive Director of School of Fashion & the Arts
- Kenneth Cobonpue
- Brian Tenorio
- Dan Matutina, Plus63
- AJ Dimarucot
- Angel Guerrero, Editor of Adobo Magazine
- Aram Beheshti, Graphika Manila
- Atty. Tanya Faye Ramiro, Office of Sen. Guingona
- Ms. Myrna Sunico, Executive Director of the Design Center of the Philippines
- Official Gazette (Gov.ph), RA 10557
- Adobo Magazine, "PH Design Law Passed"
- Philippine STAR, "The rise of Design Existential" [National newspaper]
- Adobo Magazine, "Jowee Alviar speaks on R.A 10577: The Story behind the PH Design Act"