By Martin Sadongdong
About P65 million in counterfeit and pirated bags, shoes, wallets, watches and other goods seized by the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) were destroyed at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Grandstand in Camp Crame, Quezon City Friday.
Lawyer Josephine Santiago, director-general of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO-Phil), said that the items were just part of the total P23.6 billion in fake items that were seized by the NCIPR in 2018 — the largest amount confiscated by the Committee since its creation in 2008.
According to Santiago, the P23.6-billion confiscation marked a 188-percent increase as compared to the P8.2-billion haul by the Committee in 2017.
“This is just a drop in the ocean. Where do we get the valuation? The valuation of goods we report would be the market value in the formal economy or the street value in the market place,” said in a statement by Santiago, who was represented by IPO-Phil Deputy Director General Teodoro Pascua.
For his part, P/Maj. Gen. Elmo Francis Sarona, director of the Directorate for Investigation and Detection Management (PNP-DIDM), urged the public not to patronize counterfeit and pirated products as it harms the economic development of the country.
“May this destruction serve as a stern warning for the public not to patronize counterfeit and pirated products. We will be very bold in our campaign against piracy and counterfeiting. We will not allow IPR violators to continue their lawless activities,” said Sarona, who represented Police General Oscar Albayalde, PNP Chief, during the event.
“May this also serve as a reminder that purchasing counterfeit and pirated products will do know good and may even cause harmful effects to all of you. Let’s stop piracy and let’s stop patronizing counterfeit and pirated products,” he added.
Destroyed during the event were P16.1-million worth of wallets; P15.82-million bags; P10.12-million shoes; P10-million cellphone back cases; P7.28-million cellphone cases; P2.42-million notepad cases; P1.8-million watches; P1-million shirts; P370,000 worth of cigarettes; P280,000 belts; P150,000 money clips; P58,500 DVDs; and P50,000 cutting blades.
The NCIPR was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 736 signed in June 2008 to “coordinate interagency efforts to promote, protect and enforce intellectual property rights in the country.”
It is composed of 12 government agencies namely the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which serves as the chair of the NCIPR; the IPO-Phil, the vice-chair; and members PNP, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Optical Media Board (OMB), National Book Development Board (NBDB), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime (OSETC), and Bureau of Customs (BoC).