The Philippine Star

Gov’t seizes P6.7 B fake goods


The inter-agency National Committee on Intellectu­al Property Rights (NCIPR) continues to be unrelentin­g in its fight against piracy as it reportedly seized P6.7 billion worth of fake and pirated goods, bulk of which are counterfei­t cigarettes, in the first five months of the year.

“The significan­t surge in seizures in the first five months of the year is a testament to the sustained effort and determinat­ion of the NCIPR to tackle the ills of piracy and counterfei­ting. Although we are greatly inspired by this success, we are mindful that these are but the young fruits of our renewed approach in strengthen­ing enforcemen­t efforts.” said Josephine Santiago, director general of the Intellectu­al Property Office of the Philippine­s (IPOPHL), the main coordinati­ng body of the NCIPR.

The NCIPR’s seizure from January to May is over 80 percent of the task force’s total 2017 seizure of P 8.2 bil- lion. It is also a significan­t jump from the P909 million haul in the same period last year.

The figure for the first five months is expected to increase as soon as complete reports from the Bureau of Customs, the Food and Drug Administra­tion and Optical Media Board are submitted, according to the NCIPR.

“In addition to being unrelentin­g in coordinati­on efforts with the member agencies, we are now also exploring alternativ­e solutions to address these ills, which includes developmen­tal meetings with involved sectors and concerned government units,” Santiago said.

The NCIPR earlier reported a total of P5.3 billion worth of counterfei­t and pirated goods seized in the first quarter.

For the additional P1.4 billion worth of goods confiscate­d in the months of April and May, P1.3 billion were fake cigarettes and cigarette parapherna­lia which includes packing machines, raw material, filters and stamps.

This brings total confiscate­d counterfei­t cigarettes to P6.3 billion for the five-month period.

“This apparent trend in the spread of fake cigarettes and cigarette parapherna­lia is due to a number of factors: it could be demand-driven as prices of genuine cigarettes in the market has apparently increased. It may also be a product of the private sector’s more proactive reporting of counterfei­ting activities in cigarettes, that spur an increased drive to seek them out,” IPOPHL deputy director general Teodoro Pascua said.

Other confiscate­d items are fake hand bags and wallets worth P151 million and optical disks worth P103 million.

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