P80M worth of counterfeit items destroyed on Nat’l Anti-Piracy Month
MANILA, Philippines — Counterfeit items worth P80.2 million were crushed by the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) in a ceremonial destruction at Camp Crame in Quezon City on Friday, in time for the celebration of the National Anti-Piracy Month.
Among the items destroyed are counterfeits of branded watches, lotions, bags, and hygiene products worth P58 million which were confiscated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), and P7 million worth of DVDs seized by the Optical Media Board (OMB).
Also destroyed were P1.1 million worth of pharmaceutical products recovered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); P216,000 worth of seasonings and cut-off wheels seized by the Philippine National Police; and P4 million worth of Microsoft installers, P800,000 worth of soaps, and P8.4 million worth of luggage, bags, and wallets turned over by two law firms.
Josephine Santiago, director general of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) that sits as vice chair of the NCIPR, stressed the harm of piracy to creators and to the country.
“Piracy, a colloquial for certain forms of copyright infringement, is an enemy of creativity,” she said in her speech delivered by IPOPHL deputy director general Nelson Laluces.
“Not only does it steal from creators their right to enjoy the gains that can be legally reaped from their works, but, more disturbingly, it robs our country of a cultural icon and revenues,” she added.
For his part, Laluces lamented that while the internet has created opportunities to promote legitimate brands, it is also being used by criminals to produce and sell counterfeit items.
“Its global reach, openness, and largely unregulated character have also created avenue for the trade and distribution of fake products,” he said.
The ceremonial destruction of pirated goods is conducted yearly by the NCIPR but was held twice this year — the first being held in April where P65 million worth of items were destroyed.
It aims to demonstrate and condemn the detriments of counterfeiting and piracy, including substantial losses in government revenues, reduced employment in legitimate enterprises, poor quality products, and serious threat to the health and safety of the public, according to the committee.
Twelve government agencies comprise the NCIPR, with the Department of Trade and Industry as its chair. Other member agencies are the Department of Justice, BOC, FDA, National Bureau of Investigation, PNP, OMB, National Book Development Board, Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the National Telecommunications Commission. /je
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