MANILA – Despite the pandemic, the government managed to seize record-high value of counterfeit goods amounting to PHP24.9 billion in 2021.
In a press conference Thursday, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Director General Rowel Barba said seized fake goods last year surpassed the PHP23.6-billion confiscated goods in 2018.
Barba said the operation of National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) for seizure efforts returned to normal last year compared to the operations in 2020, in which the government confiscated only around PHP9.8 billion.
The NCIPR had 324 search warrants in 2021, he said.
Top fake goods that were seized last year were cigarettes and alcohol, followed by counterfeit medicines.
NCIPR is composed of the Department of Trade and Industry as chair and IPOPHL as its co-chair along with the Bureau of Customs, National Bureau of Investigation, Optical Media Board, Philippine National Police, Department of Justice, Food and Drug Administration, National Book Development Board, Office of the Special Envoy for Transnational Crime, National Telecommunication Commission, and Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Barba added the increase in fake goods in the market was observed amid the booming e-commerce in the country during the pandemic.
“We attribute our record seizure to increased efforts and better strategy of our NCIPR members. We will continue to intensify our enforcement efforts, from our borders to our online markets,” he said. (PNA)