MANILA, Philippines - Counterfeit items seized by the government rose 47.40 percent this year compared to 2012 as agencies, particularly the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Bureau of Customs (BOC), stepped up efforts to fight piracy, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said.
IPOPHL director general Ricardo Blancaflor said in a statement the total value of confiscated counterfeit goods by member agencies of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights reached P7.76 billion this year, up from the P5.27 billion haul in 2012.
The increase was seen amid higher collections of member agencies NBI and the BOC.
The NBI, which had the biggest haul, obtained pirated goods valued at P3.74 billion, 36.27 percent higher than the P2.75 billion it confiscated last year. Counterfeit items taken by the BOC were valued at P3.18 billion, which surged 188.98 percent from the previous year’s P1.1 billion.
While the NBI and BOC both posted increases in the value of pirated items confiscated, the Optical Media Board (OMB) and Philippine National Police (PNP) reported declines in their collections.
The value of items seized by the OMB fell 32.17 percent to P784.43 million this year from 2012’s P1.16 billion.
The value of pirated goods taken by the PNP dropped 79.15 percent to P54.64 million this year from the P262.04 million a year ago.
The items obtained by the government include designer watches, bags, shirts, jeans, footwear, medicines, cellular phones and other electronic gadgets.
As total counterfeit items seized grew this year from a year ago, the IPOPHL said the government would continue to strengthen its efforts to push intellectual property rights protection.
“It is the IPOPHL’s goal to inculcate among Filipinos respect for intellectual property and ultimately see the country free from counterfeit and pirated goods in the market,” Blancaflor said.
He also said he is optimistic Republic Act 10372 or the Amendments to the IP Code, whereby the IPOPHL is given the enforcement and visitorial powers, signed by President Aquino earlier this year, would increase further the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the country.