P13.7B in fake goods seized in Jan-July | Inquirer Business
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P13.7B in fake goods seized in Jan-July

/ 04:41 AM September 23, 2019

The government has seized P13.73 billion worth of counterfeit goods, mainly cigarettes, from January to July this year.

This is according to preliminary data from the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), an interagency committee in charge of protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights in the country.

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Seizure operations conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation accounted for the bulk of the total at P9.32 billion.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) followed with a haul worth P3.9 billion and the Food and Drug Administration, P2.82 billion.

The value of these confiscated items, however, still has to be validated by the NCIPR. So far, only P1.83 billion or a fifth of the total has been validated, said the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), which is the vice chair of the NCIPR.

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The NCIPR has yet to authenticate the NBI’s P8 billion worth of haul composed mainly of tobacco. Customs’ capture of mostly wearable items worth P3.9 billion in a Divisoria mall has also yet to be validated.

Nevertheless, the seizure in January to July this year is nearly 60 percent of the overall figure in 2018 which stood at P23.6 billion.

So far, the trend seemed to be moving similar to 2018’s when cigarettes and pharmaceuticals and personal care products were topping the inventory, IPOPHL said.

“The implementation of the hike in new and huge taxes on tobacco will start next year. Also, we are closely watching developments on the proposal to impose taxes on alcohol products and e-cigarettes and other vapor products,” said IPOPHL Director General Josephine R. Santiago.

“As early as now, we are readying ourselves for the possible rise of counterfeiting of these products by intensifying our exploration of new enforcement strategies to employ,” she added.

The NCIPR is composed of 12 members, with the Department of Trade and Industry as chair and the IPOPHL as vice chair.

The other members are: the Department of Justice; Bureau of Customs; FDA; NBI; Philippine National Police; Optical Media Board; National Book Development Board; Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime; Department of the Interior and Local Government, and National Telecommunications Commission.

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