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Gov’t steps up drive vs counterfeit goods

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - August 19, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Counterfeit items confiscated by the government grew 44.27 percent in terms of value in the January to July period compared to a year ago.

Data from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) show the value of counterfeit goods seized by the government amounted to P7.79 billion as of end-July, up from the P5.40 billion confiscated in the comparable period in 2013.

Driving the increase were the joint operations of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) with collections amounting to P4.14 billion for the seven-month period.

The NBI’s haul alone declined 51.97 percent to P762.61 million as of end-July from the P1.59 billion confiscated last year.

Counterfeit goods seized by the BOC likewise dropped 32.21 percent to P2.16 billion in the seven-month period, compared to P3.18 billion in the previous year.

Collections of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Optical Media Board (OMB), meanwhile, registered increases.

The value of confiscations of the PNP surged 118.66 percent to reach P83.79 million in the January to July period.

Those seized by the OMB grew 5.26 percent to P627.95 million as of end-July from P596.58 million in 2013.

The Food and Drug Administration, which did not have any confiscated last year, P18.83 million worth of fake goods for the January to July period this year.

Last year, the IPOPHL’s total haul of counterfeit goods were valued at P7.76 billion.

IPOPHL director general Ricardo Blancaflor said earlier the agency is hopeful this year’s total could match 2011’s all-time high which reached P8.3 billion.

Aside from achieving record-high worth of counterfeit confiscations, Blancaflor said the IPOPHL plans to implement programs to at increase the public’s awareness, as well as improve enforcement of IP rights, to keep the Philippines out of the Office of the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) list of countries tagged with IP problems.

In April, the Philippines was removed from the USTR’s Special 301 Report Watch List amid legislative and regulatory reforms to enhance the protection and enforcement of IP here.

The Philippines has been continuously placed either in the Priority Watch List or Watch List since 1994.

BILLION BUREAU OF CUSTOMS COLLECTIONS OF THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE DRUG ADMINISTRATION IN APRIL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE OF THE PHILIPPINES NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION OPTICAL MEDIA BOARD PRIORITY WATCH LIST REPORT WATCH LIST
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