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Finally, Philippines No Longer in the Notorious Markets List of the USTR

After being on the list for the last six (6) years, the Philippines is completely gone in the list of Notorious Markets of the Office of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) as reported in the Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets dated December 13, 2012.

The different Philippine malls and markets, once appearing in the said list include the Greenhills area,Divisoria, Quiapo, Makati Cinema Square, Binondo, and Baclaran areas.

The Report noted: “Positive action has also occurred over the past year at physical markets. One example is the Quiapo Shopping District in the Philippines. The Philippine Government has taken significant enforcement actions that have reduced the number of counterfeit and pirated goods available for sale and, as a result, the market has been removed from the 2012 List.”

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), through Director General Ricardo Blancaflor, expressed elation at the development and said: “Finally, IPOPHL’s enforcement efforts have been recognized. Moreover, the “Holistic” Approach started by IPOPHL in 2010 has been found very effective and will continue to be used as a mainstay enforcement activity.”

The “Holistic” approach is a strategy that underscores the concerted efforts of government agencies, with the active participation of rights holders. This approach is the core of the Action Plan on IPR Protection and Enforcement that would enhance public education and awareness, capacity building for relevant institutions, expanding border control measures in more regions, speedy and quality disposition of IPR cases, policy advocacy, strengthen legal and policy environment, sustain domestic and international partnerships, strengthen coordinating mechanisms, and endeavour to fill in the gaps on IPR enforcement operations like establishing IPR units in government agencies, among others.

IPOPHL Director General Ricardo Blancaflor would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Local Government Units (LGUs) especially the City of Manila, through City Mayor Alfredo Lim, in supporting the Philippines in getting out of the Notorious Markets List.