The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), in coordination with the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), has seized P8.8-billion worth of pirated and counterfeit goods in the first half of 2018, already breaching 2017’s total of P 8.2 billion.
The first semester of 2018 also presents a triple-digit growth, or a jump of 530 % over the same period in 2017. In the first half of 2017, seized counterfeit and pirated goods amounted to P1.4 billion.
“Surpassing the full-year, 2017 seizure is a matter of course given IPOPHL and NCIPR?s intensified campaign to curb the spread of fake goods since the beginning of the year. Any form of piracy is damaging not only to the local economy but also to the industries we cultivate, as well as the investors with valuable intellectual property, and the government which loses revenue with these fake goods,” said IPOPHL director-general Josephine R. Santiago.
“Moreover, while economic losses are sustained with these kinds of goods, the victims who would stand to suffer the most from this illicit trade are the public, as these counterfeiters and pirates ultimately compromise health and safety, not to mention cost people their jobs,” she noted.
“Most importantly, reports have established that counterfeiting is used by organized criminal syndicates to fund their operations. With this P 8.8 billion seizure, we hope to make a dent to their sources of income and drive home the message to counterfeiters, dealers, and all those involved pirated-goods trade that we continue to have a zero-tolerance policy on piracy and counterfeiting,” she added.
According to NCIPR data, among the NCIPR enforcement agencies, the Philippine National Police (PNP) confiscated the lion’s share of the haul at 72%, or P6.3 billion during first of half of 2018.
The Bureau of Customs, which submitted their data this August, captured 24% or P2 billion, while the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) confiscated P266 million worth of goods. The Optical Media Board confiscated P103 million.
Per type of good, cigarettes and alcohol again took the bulk of the seized amount, taking up P6.8 billion of the total, or 78 percent. Pharmaceutical and personal care products is a far second with P1.2 billion seized in the first half. Fake handbags and wallets come third in terms of value, with NCIPR seizing P450 million.
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.
“With this substantial take, we are reasonably optimistic that our goal to surpass the record high of 2014 of P13-billion worth of fake and counterfeit products is within reach,” Santiago added.