June 1, 2023

In response to the proliferation of non-local products labelled to be from Sagada, Mountain Province, the municipal government will soon issue a seal to all local products from the mystic town.

Sagada recently came up with its official certification mark or authenticity seal for all Sagada products, which was certified by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.  

Ordinance 6-2021 provides for the creation of the authenticity seal and also mandates establishments of “a certification mark to validate the authenticity and quality of Sagada-made products particularly its one town-one product sold in all market outlets.”

The ordinance, authored by Councilor Paul Domoguen, also provides protection to local products and the consumers against deceptive and unfair sales practices.

“Despite some provisions in the national laws, there has been an observed increase of unfair practices of making money by some opportunistic vendors in the Cordillera and in some parts of the country using the name ‘Sagada’ while deceiving customers through labeling their fake or poor quality products as made or produced in Sagada when in truth they are not,” the ordinance stated.

The ordinance provides for the creation of a certification body to evaluate and certify the applications for both the products and the producers.

It will be composed of the municipal mayor or his authorized representative as chairperson, the chair of the committee on trade and industry as co-chair with the municipal agriculture officer, committee chair on agriculture, municipal treasurer, representative from the Department of Trade and Industry, private sector representative from the food sector, and private sector representative from the non-food sector as members.

The body shall formulate and adopt procedure and requirements for product certification and producer or processor’s accreditation.

It shall also ensure that only products that are genuine Sagada-made, of high standards and fall under the Sagada OTOP shall be awarded with the certification mark.

Those who received the certification mark, called “OTOPreneurs”, will receive certificates as proof of their qualification and shall comply with the standards set by the body.

The certification body may charge fees in the processing of applications and the use of the certification mark.

The municipality shall be the owner of the authenticity seal, which comes with a logo bearing “certified Sagada product”, thus it shall take responsibility regarding the control of all its uses. 

No group or individuals including printing establishments, advertising and sales agencies shall be allowed to use the logo for any intent without permission from the municipality.

Aside from its natural wonders like caves and mountains, Sagada is known for its woven products, Arabica coffee, etag, oranges, lemons, and other processed foods. – Ofelia C. Empian