Government agencies, LGUs urged to enforce anti-piracy policy

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The 13-member National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) is targeting the implementation of the Anti-Counterfeit and Anti-Piracy Policy (ACAPP) in 50 national government agencies and 18 local government units by 2025.

In a statement yesterday, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), serving as acting chair of the NCIPR, said the inter-agency committee is enjoining state agencies and LGUs to come up with their ACAPP to make sure their offices and employees are aware of the negative effects of counterfeiting and piracy to the economy, and all their policies and actions are aligned with IP laws.

At present, IPOPHL said four agencies part of the NCIPR have institutionalized ACAPPs, while the remaining members aim to roll out their policies by the end of the year.

The NCIPR, which has the Department of Trade and Industry as chair and IPOPHL as vice chair, is also composed of the Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Bureau of Customs, Food and Drug Administration, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, Optical Media Board, National Book Development Board, Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime, and the National Telecommunications Commission.

The committee was formed through Executive Order 736 signed on June 21, 2008 to formulate and implement policies, as well as strengthen IP rights protection and enforcement in the country.

“As servants in government, we must be the role models in obeying the law. We must demonstrate this by being mindful of all laws, including the IP Code, when formulating policies or initiatives and by taking appropriate action against violators,” NCIPR acting chair and IPOPHL director general Rowel Barba said.

He said the ACAPP would also show the government offices’ support for innovation and creativity in the country.

As such, he is optimistic more government offices will join the campaign.

The push for an ACAPP in government offices is part of the NCIPR’s 2021 to 2025 goals to improve IP policy and legislation, awareness and enforcement.

By 2025, the IPOPHL wants counterfeit and pirated goods to be reduced, with no fake items seen particularly in urban areas.

This would be achieved through the government leading by example and being supported by brand owners, businesses and consumers.

“By 2025, NCIPR will also shine as an internationally recognized inter-agency committee, spearheading the protection of IP and motivating countries to follow by its example,” IPOPHL deputy director general Teodoro Pascua said.

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