P17.9B fake goods seized as of September, highest in a decade
The government confiscated P17.9 billion worth of fake and counterfeit goods as of September this year, most of which are cigarettes and cigarette paraphernalia.
This is according to a statement from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), whose top officials held a press briefing on Monday.
The haul was done by the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR).
IPOPHL, which leads the NCIPR, said this marked the biggest take in the decade-long history of the committee, even though this only marked the haul for the first nine months.
More than 80 percent of this, or P15.5 billion, are cigarettes and cigarette paraphernalia, as fake but cheaper goods entered the market amid higher tax rates slapped on sin products.
“The staggering amount of fake and counterfeit goods in the nine months of the year is an outlier seizure,” said IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago.
IPOPHL said the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Customs pursued several operations in the year, raiding factories and warehouses.
This included the haul in August when a single operation yielded P8 billion worth of fake cigarette stamps and other goods in a warehouse in Quezon City, IPOPHL said.
A far second to cigarettes and related equipment are pharmaceutical and personal care products, which reached P1.2 billion, although IPOPHL could not say why the haul was this big.
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