Some P100 million worth of seized counterfeit products were destroyed by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) yesterday during ceremonies in Camp Crame.
Director General Allan Gepty, officer in charge of IPO, said the destroyed items were composed of fake CDs, DVDs, medicines, tools, lipsticks and sunglasses which were seized in past operations nationwide.
The destruction of the fake items coincided two days before the celebration of World Anti-Counterfeiting Day on June 24.
“These items we destroyed are just samples from the actual seized items because most are still covered by pending cases so we cannot destroy them just yet, while others are being used as evidence,” Gepty said.
Gepty said that in 2014 the IPO, in coordination with various law enforcement agencies, have seized about $300 million worth of counterfeit products.
The fake items were piled up in front of the PNP Grandstand and were made to be rolled by a V-150 armored personnel carrier (APC) owned by the Special Action Force.
He said IPO will continue to educate the public on the ill-effects of buying pirated products which he said include tantamount to condoning economic sabotage since fake products makers do not pay taxes and other governments fees, violations of the Labor Law, and having health risks when using counterfeit medicines and cosmetics.
Gepty said the country has been stricken off the international watchlist of countries were fake products are rampant.
“Wala na tayo sa watchlist. That is positive news kasi in the past nasa watchlist tayo for more than 20 years. So, ang nangyari doon we have to continue working, we have to intensify our enforcement efforts and then finally in 2014 naging successful tayo natanggal na tayo sa watchlist,” he added.
He said the IPO’s operations become more successful once the rightful owners of a product/s file formal complaints before their office.
He said lawmakers should review the sanctions on counterfeiting since the penalties copyright infringement range from one year to nine years, and the fines are at P50,000 to P1.5 million which the offenders cane very much afford.