Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) undersecretary Rowel Barba has taken his oath as the new director-general of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), sources told Newsbytes.PH.
Barba, who was sworn into office by DTI secretary Ramon Lopez last week, will replace outgoing chief Josephine Santiago whose term of office lapsed this year. IPOPHL deputy director-general Teodoro Pascua served as office-in-charge prior to Barba’s appointment.
Santiago, a UP College of Law alumnus like Barba, was appointed by former president Benigno Aquino III in 2015. The term of office of the IPOPHL head is five years, but can be reappointed once.
Prior to his new role, Barba served in a concurrent role as chief-of-staff of Lopez. The two officials are close associates, going back to their days at the Concepcion-owned RFM Corporation.
At the trade department, Barba headed the Competitiveness and Innovation Group (CIG) from 2018 to 2019, and the Management Services Group (MSG) from 2016 to February 2018, where he oversaw policy making and implementation of operating plans and communication support for the agency.
A lawyer by profession, Barba was the former managing partner of Barba & Associates Law Offices. He also worked as an associate at the Ponce Enrile Cayetano Reyes & Manalastas Law Offices.
He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in AB Political Science, as well as his Bachelor of Laws degree, from the University of the Philippines.