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.