NCIPR, IPOPHL net P17.9 B in pirated, counterfeit goods - highest in a decade
Breaches 2014’s record P13.3 B
The National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), led by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), as of September has captured a record-breaking P17.9 billion worth of fake and counterfeit goods, already surpassing its 2014 seizure of P13.3 billion and netting its biggest take in the decade-long history of the NCIPR.
The immense haul of P17.9 billion represents a 840% growth over the January to September period last year, when the counterfeits seizure was at P1.9 billion.
This is the highest take in the decade-long history of the NCIPR which was established in 2008.
“The staggering amount of fake and counterfeit goods in the nine months of the year is an outlier seizure. 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. This is an indication of the increased vigilance of brand owners, and we urge them to continue enforcing their rights,” said IPOPHL Director General Josephine R. Santiago.
“Enforcement alone may not see the end of fake goods. A change in consumer behaviors and attitudes 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 IP and IP rights. Moving forward, the IPOPHL is pushing for the capacity-building on IP for various sectors, mainstreaming of IP education in the curriculum , and seeking other measures for an effective educational approach, including social media advocacy campaigns, to change consumer attitudes and behaviors for a more lasting anti-counterfeiting results,” the IPOPHL official added.
“Similar the the Department of Finance’s observation, the increase in seizures of counterfeit cigarettes may have been due to the increase in the prices of cigarettes in the marketplace, as well as the more active efforts against the spread of counterfeit goods pressed by NCIPR members. This pressing challenge is not only our concern as the agency leading the campaign against piracy and counterfeiting but more so for the Department of Finance who are impeded to effectively collect taxes for the nation’s coffers. We are one with them in their drive to stamp out the spread of counterfeit cigarettes,” noted IPOPHL Deputy Director General leading IPOPHL’s IP Enforcement Office, Teodoro C. Pascua.
In 2017, the NCIPR captured a total of P8.2 billion worth of goods, with bulk of the items comprised of consumer electronics.
This year, of the P17.9 billion seizure from January to September, P15.5 billion were cigarettes and cigarette paraphernalia. Pharmaceutical and personal care products came in a far second in terms of value, with the goods seized amounting to P1.2 billion. Optical media came third with P490 million.
The first substantial take of cigarettes and cigarette production paraphernalia was back in February, when P5 billion worth of it was seized in a single operation. In May, another P1.8 billion worth of the same products were seized in several operations.
This August, a single operation yielded a whopping P8 billion worth of fake cigarette stamps and other goods (ukay-ukay, cigarettes, and rice) in a warehouse in Quezon City, resulting to the year-to-date seizure to skyrocket to P17 billion.
The value of fake goods confiscated by the government fluctuates every year and it usually depends on the class of goods and the market value of the original goods in the formal economy.