QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippines’ intellectual property rights committee said on Friday that it destroyed pirated goods worth more than $1 million in an effort to end the sale and distribution of counterfeit products in the country.
Fake watches, lotions, branded bags and soaps worth 80.2 million Philippine pesos ($1.6 million) were bulldozed in a ceremony in Quezon City, the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights said in a statement released to the press.
“Piracy, a colloquial for certain forms of copyright infringement, is an enemy of creativity. Not only does it steal from creators their right to enjoy the gains that can be legally reaped from their works, but, more disturbingly, it robs our country of a cultural icon and revenues,” said Josephine R. Santiago, the committee’s director-general.
The material was part of a haul worth 13.7 billion pesos seized between January and July, according to authorities.
Footage of the ceremony shows a large bulldozer passing over neatly ordered goods and people with large hammers and cutters destroying watches and clothing.
Counterfeit goods are common in the Philippines and the region, where they are easily found in street markets and other establishments.