Gov’t says P8.2-B worth of counterfeit goods seized in 2017

As much as P8.2-billion worth of counterfeit and pirated goods were seized by various agencies under the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) in 2017, nearly 26% higher than the previous year’s record.

File photo shows the combined operatives of the NBI, IPOPHL, Bureau of Customs and the PNP-CIDG inspect the fake smartphones and other electronic gadgets seized in raid in Binondo, Manila. (Photo by Reynante Salgado)

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is the agency with the largest value seized, reporting more than P5.8 billion in fake goods seized in 2017.

The value of counterfeit goods seized in 2017 represents the biggest haul by the government since 2014, according to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).

The government pursues intellectual property rights (IPR) violations and cases through the multi-agency task force, the NCIPR, which has the IPOPHL as its vice chair.

“The value of fake goods confiscated by the government fluctuates every year and it depends on the class of goods and the market value of the original goods in the formal economy,” said IPOPHL director-general Josephine R. Santiago.

According to NCIPR data, the top counterfeit products seized were electronics, optical media, and pharmaceutical and personal care products.

“As this reflects the growing market demand for electronic goods and products involving public health and safety, we warn the public to be wary of counterfeiters exploiting this high demand,” said Santiago.

“This alarming development underscores the need for the various relevant agencies of government and the intellectual property rights owners to address this serious concern,” she added.

Enforcement data in 2016 showed a different trend: jewelry and watches were the top counterfeited commodities seized by the NCIPR that year, followed by cigarettes and alcohol, and with optical media as the third top counterfeited and pirated item.

In 2015, watches and jewelry were still at the top spot, followed by optical media, then hand bags and wallets rounding out the top three categories.

Wearing apparel and accessories were the top counterfeited items in 2014, followed by hand bags and wallets again in the second spot, then footwear.

Based on the data submitted by NCIPR members Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), a total of 309 search warrants were implemented and the BOC issued 16 warrants of seizure and detention for the whole year. The Optical Media Board (OMB) conducted 2,770 inspections in 2017.

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