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Seized fake goods, mainly cigarettes, hit P23.6B in 2018

The government seized P23.6 billion worth of pirated and counterfeit goods in 2018, most of which are cigarettes, marking its largest haul in a decade.

This is according to a statement of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), which is vice chair of a national committee in charge of the confiscation of counterfeit goods.

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The amount marks a 188- percent increase from the 2017 level and the largest haul since the creation of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) in 2008, said IPOPHL.

The NCIPR has as its members agencies including the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

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Cigarettes and alcohol, which are categorized under one group, accounted for the lion’s share of the haul, or 86 percent, said IPOPHL. Fake cigarettes seized were valued at P20.250 billion while seized alcohol amounted to P3 million.

Seized pharmaceutical and personal care products came in second in terms of value at P1.2 billion.

IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago called 2018 a “banner year” given the record amount of fake goods seized.

“Consistent with the trend we’ve seen all year, fake cigarettes and alcohol accounted for the bulk of this record haul—the formula for which we believe is the firm determination and vigilance of brand owners to pursue counterfeiters,” she said.

“As illegal traders are apparently shifting to heavily taxed goods, we need more than ever the indispensable cooperation of brand owners. But enforcement efforts should not end with seizures,  but we need to follow through to convictions of perpetrators,” she added.

IPOPHL said the NCIPR seized P821 million worth of fake handbags and wallets, while optical media—such as pirated DVDs—came in fourth at P790 million.

In capturing the 2018 haul, the National Bureau of Investigation, the PNP and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) filed a total of 143 cases, while PNP and FDA carried out 82 arrests in relation to these counterfeit goods.

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TAGS: cigarettes, pirated and counterfeit goods
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