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Central Bank, HP launch campaign vs counterfeits

CEBU, Philippines - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Hewlett Packard Corporation, have partnered for an advocacy campaign against imitations in the Philippines.

Dubbed as “No to Fakes. Know the original”, the partnership aims to awaken public awareness on the production and proliferation of counterfeit products such as Philippine Peso Bills and HP ink and toner cartridges.

According to consumer sales manager of Imaging and Printing Group HP Philippines Charles Lizares, the country has become a dumping ground for counterfeit products, from luxury items to everyday consumer goods.

The HP official lamented how we are seeing a continued increase of non-genuine products available in the country and yet some of us remain indifferent towards it, which should not be so, he says.

Lizares said consumers deserve and should consider the value and long-term financial benefits of an original. Fake items will do more damage than good.

In data based from the National Committee of Intellectual Property Rights, the government has confiscated around 12.57 million worth of counterfeit peso bills in 2010. Law enforcement agencies such as the National Bureau of Investigation have also confiscated around 22,000 fake HP ink cartridges and toners this year amounting to P21 million.

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The first half of 2011 alone saw 1.9 million pieces of fake goods, 2,539 boxes of counterfeit items worth 1.715 billion were confiscated by the Philippine government. This has placed the country on the priority watch-list of US blacklist of nations tolerating intellectual piracy.

The joint project hopes to rally the support of the business community and the consumers to be committed in patronizing originals instead of fakes and counterfeits. He added that 58% of customers who purchase counterfeits do so unknowingly, which is why part of their advocacy is to educate the public on how to distinguish an original from a knock-off.

To combat the proliferation of fake peso bills, the BSP has introduced several new security features in its new generation Philippine banknotes. For instance, it has loaded the new peso bills with technology that will make it impossible for counterfeiters to duplicate them, including the rough texture of the paper, embossed prints, shadow images, updated security fibers to name a few.

HP meanwhile has introduced genuine security seal features on original HP ink cartridges and toners.

"We want consumers to be aware that using original products will give them more benefits than buying their cheap imitations. In fact, most of us are unaware that we are actually spending more when we buy anything fake because the quality of the product is comparatively lower,” said HP Southeast Asia director Viswanath PV. 

He said that original HP ink cartridges and toners, as observed as well by a recent ink cartridge reliability study conducted by QualityLogic, have proven "to outperform refilled inkjet cartridges based on reliability as well as page yields."

Original ink cartridges and toners also help maintain the good performance of printers. "Fake HP ink cartridges and toners can damage your printers, ending with you buying a new one," said PV.  (FREEMAN)

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