The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) reported on Monday, November 19, that a total of P17.9 billion worth of pirated and counterfeit goods were confiscated from January to September this year.
The amount of goods seized over the nine-month period already represents an 840-percent increase over the seizures of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) during the same period in 2017, it was revealed in a briefing.
IPOPHL director-general Josephine Santiago noted that the value of confiscated products in January to September period is the highest in a decade, or since the NCIPR was established in 2008.
“The staggering amount of fake and counterfeit goods in the nine months of the year is an outlier seizure,” said Santiago.
“Several operations in the year by the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Customs led to the raiding of factories and warehouses storing cases of counterfeit cigarette packs bearing cigarette brand names and related equipment,” she added.
IPOPHL data show that bulk of the seized goods in the first nine months of the year were cigarettes and cigarette paraphernalia amounting to P15.5 billion.
A single enforcement operation in August alone confiscated some P8 billion worth of fake cigarette stamps and other goods in a warehouse in Quezon City, the agency noted.
Other pirated and counterfeit goods seized from January to September also include pharmaceutical and personal care products amounting to P1.2 billion and optical media at P490 million.
“Enforcement alone may not see the end of fake goods. A change in consumer behavior and attitude is necessary to stamp out these illicit trade activities for good. While the agency remains strong in enforcement, IPOPHL also puts great effort into educating the public about respecting intellectual property and intellectual property rights,” Santiago said. — Kris Crismundo (PNA)