The Philippine government seized P8.2 billion-worth of counterfeit and pirated goods in 2017, the largest haul of fake goods since 2014, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) reported on Monday.
IPOPHL said in a statement that the fake and bootleg items were confiscated by various agencies under the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) in 2017.
The bulk of the impounded goods were from the Bureau of Customs (BoC), accounting for more than 70 percent and which has been valued at P5.8 billion.
According to NCIPR data, the top counterfeit products seized were electronics and optical media, as well as pharmaceutical and personal care products.
This, the NCIPR said, is different from the trend seen in the past two years, when jewelry & watches were the top counterfeited commodities.
“As this reflects the growing market demand for electronic goods and products involving public health and safety, we warn the public to be wary of counterfeiters exploiting this high demand,” said IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago.
“This alarming development underscores the need for the various relevant agencies of government and the intellectual property rights owners to address this serious concern. The IPOPHL, for its part, continues to intensify its campaign against the selling and buying of these counterfeit products,” she added.
The NCIPR data further stated that the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) served a total of 309 search warrants in 2017, while the BoC issued 16 warrants of seizure and detention also in 2017.
The Optical Media Board (OMB), for its part, conducted 2,770 inspections in 2017, the NCIPR data noted. /kga