Philippine Daily Inquirer

Gov’t marks biggest haul of fake goods in a decade

- By Roy Stephen C. Canivel @roycanivel_INQ

The government confiscate­d by end September this year a total of P17.9 billion worth of fake and counterfei­t goods, most of which are cigarettes and cigarette parapherna­lia.

This is according to a statement from the Intellectu­al Property Office of the Philippine­s (IPOPHL), whose top officials also held a press briefing on Monday.

The National Committee on Intellectu­al Property Rights (NCIPR), whose members include the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC), made several operations this year, raiding factories and warehouses.

The nine-month haul marked the biggest in the decade-long history of the committee, said the IPOPHL, which leads the NCIPR.

More than 80 percent of the total, or P15.5 billion, are cigarettes and cigarette parapherna­lia. Cheaper, yet fake goods, entered the market amid higher tax rates slapped on sin products.

The spike in seized goods came as the prices of cigarettes increased under the first tax reform package of the Duterte administra­tion.

“The staggering amount of fake and counterfei­t goods in the nine months of the year is [historic],” said IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago.

“Similar to the Department of Finance’s observatio­n, the increase in seizures of counterfei­t cigarettes may have been due to the increase in the prices of cigarettes in the marketplac­e,” said IPOPHL Deputy Director General Teodoro Pascua.

A single operation in August yielded P8 billion worth of fake cigarette stamps and other goods in a warehouse in Quezon City, IPOPHL said.

The committee also seized pharmaceut­ical and personal care products worth P1.2 billion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines