MANILA — A lawmaker has urged the government to distribute confiscated fake goods to people affected by calamities in many parts of the country instead of destroying them.
In House Resolution 1549, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Intellectual Property Office and other law enforcement agencies conducting raids on counterfeit goods to donate the confiscated goods to calamity victims.
“The victims of calamities could certainly use these counterfeit goods especially the clothing and shoes,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said instead of destroying the fake products, some items like shoes, clothes and other personal items could be given to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for subsequent distribution to victims of calamities.
Rodriguez cited the recent destruction of pirated CDs and DVDs, shoes, clothes, bags, eyeglasses and other consumer goods by the Philippine National Police (PNP) using tanks and a steamroller.
Only recently, the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), Bureau of Customs (BOC) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have raided several warehouses in Tondo, Manila confiscating Php1 billion worth of smuggled goods including batteries, branded children’s products, steel buttons, perfumes with different brands, fake NBA jerseys and thousands of boxes of fake seasoning products.
According to IPOPHL, the fake products seized by Bureau of Customs that amounted to Php1.655 billion as of May this year was higher than the Php471 million recorded in the same period last year.
Aside from BOC, the PNP, the NBI, the Optical Media Board and Food and Drug Administration are also part of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights.
In total, the operations of these agencies resulted in the seizure of Php6.84 billion worth of fake items or 114 percent surge during the five-month period.
The BOC officials said two shipments of counterfeit items worth Php200 million was seized at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) last March and was consigned to Bangladesh Business Corp.
The company declared its shipment containing unbranded T-shirts, cargo short pants, leggings and plastic slippers, but almost 5,000 pieces of fake apparel labeled with brands such as Nike, Adidas, US Polo, Lee and H&M were found upon the conduct of BOC’s physical examination.