February 3, 2023

The local government of Sagada, Mountain Province has asked government agencies in charge of trade name registration to seek first the town’s consent before allowing individuals or groups to use the municipality’s name as their brand or label.

In a resolution, the local government has asked the Department of Trade and Industry and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines to get the town’s permission before registering a person or a group wanting to use “Sagada” as a brand name or label for their products, services, or name of establishments.

Town officials said the unregulated use of “Sagada” as a product label or name of establishment is posing dangers to the locality’s economic endeavors because it can be used by those producing low quality products and poor services to promote their initiatives.

They said with the town’s popularity and with the advent of online selling, several enterprising individuals are selling low quality products and passing them off as made in Sagada.

Other items are sold at cheaper prices than the original Sagada products.

“There have been concerns on Sagada-labeled products sold online at prices half that of the price set for the original products made in Sagada,” the resolution stated.

Local officials were also informed about consumers who are disappointed with Sagada-labeled products they bought online that are low quality.

While known mainly for its caves and hanging coffins, Sagada’s weaving industry has been thriving for years. Coffee bean production has also gained ground in the town. The Sagada lemon pie has also captured the palates  of locals and visitors who now order the product directly from bakers in the town.

“It is very alarming that the careless use of ‘Sagada’ as a product label or name of an establishment has devaluated the reputation of the municipality and the continuous misrepresentation poses a more serious problem on the economic endeavors of Sagada,” the resolution, posted on the town’s Facebook page, stated.

“In order to avoid the exploitation of Sagada as a brand or business name or label, we ask the agency to help us sustain the economic reputation of Sagada by coordinating with our local government unit before issuing business registration to a person or group that intends to market using the label ‘Sagada’ in their services, products, or establishment name.”

Among other misrepresentations, vendors label oranges imported from China as “Sagada’ oranges. The town grows citrus trees but the fruits are smaller than the imported ones. Apples and grapes, which do not grow in the municipality, are also passed off as fruits grown in Sagada. – Jane B. Cadalig