The inter-agency intellectual property task force, the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), led by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has seized P 6.7-billion worth of fake and pirated goods 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 IPOPHL director-general Josephine R. Santiago, during the ceremonial destruction of counterfeit and pirated goods held in Camp Crame on Thursday, June 28.
She added, “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,” referring to IPOPHL?s exploratory dialogues with other government agencies and local government units.
In five months, the NCIPR?s seizure is already at over 80 percent of NCIPR?s total 2017 seizure of P 8.2 billion.
In the two months since the first quarter seizure, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) confiscated P1.4 billion additional counterfeit goods, bringing the five-month total to P6.7 billion.
The figure for the first five months would likely increase as soon as complete reports from the Bureau of Customs, the Food and Drug Administration, and Optical Media Board are submitted.
Of the additional P1.4 billion worth of fake goods captured in April and May, P1.3 billion were again fake cigarettes and cigarette paraphernalia (which includes packing machines, raw material, filters, and stamps).
On a year-to-date basis, this would bring total confiscated counterfeit cigarettes to P6.3 billion from the 5-month total of P6.7 billion.
“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 C. Pascua added.
Next in value are hand bags and wallets worth P151 million seized from January to May. Based on available data, P103 million worth of optical disks were captured by the Optical Media Board but only cover the period of January to March.
The 5-month seizure of P 6.7 billion is a triple-digit growth from the same period’s haul of P 909 million last year.