P1.1-B worth of pirated goods seized in 2011
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines continues to be a piracy hub.
The Optical Media Board’s crackdown against music, software and movie copyright infringements resulted in the capture of P1,195,775,000 worth of materials and equipment in 2011, the Commission on Audit said in its year-end report on the agency.
Based on the COA report, released Friday, July 6, the seized pirated materials were 123% higher than the OMB’s total haul in 2010 of P535.39 million.
“Out of the 2,400 target establishments, a total of 2,295 were visited. The major accomplishment is the close-down of Quiapo, the most notorious piracy hub in Metro Manila,” government auditors said.
OMB, headed by chairman Ronnie N. Ricketts, also earned praises from COA for its successful enforcement of Republic Act No. 10080 or the Anti-Camcording Law, through coordinated efforts with non-government organizations and stakeholders such as theater owners, the Motion Picture Association and the Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council.
The audit agency said OMB was also able to accomplish its mandate of creating anti-piracy awareness with the public particularly the younger segment of the population.
During the previous year, the OMB also filed administrative charges against 2,148 entities for various violations of RA No. 9239 or the Optical Media Act and 10 criminal charges of which two are already undergoing court trial.
Where did they go?
However, auditors raised questions on the disposal of confiscated optical discs confiscated by the OMB in its campaigns from June 2009 to August 2010, noting a discrepancy in the volume of materials sold.
“The audit disclosed that out of the total 54,900 kilograms inspected, only 29,089 kilos were sold for a total of P1,070,316.58 at P42.66/kg…thus a discrepancy of 29,811 kilograms,” COA pointed out.
OMB management however explained that there was no actual discrepancy as auditors only came up with the 54,900 kilograms figure by multiplying the number of sacks at an average of six kilograms per sack.
“In totality of the seized items, there were more half-filled sacks than the sample (measured),” OMB said.
Likewise, OMB clarified that the optical discs sold to the winning bidder, Bubay Enterprises, were poorly stored in an open garage, exposed to months of bad weather and even knee-deep mud from the time they were seized in 2009 and 2010 to the hauling in January 2011.
It said the 2011 sale of P1.07-M was almost three times the appraised value of only P274,500.
COA recommended that the OMB should resort to measuring captured optical disks by weighing them rather than estimating the volume of materials by the number of sacks.
In addition, auditors urged the proper documentation and prompt disposal of seized materials through public bidding. This is meant to get a higher value instead of letting them deteriorate from lengthy and poor storage. - Rappler.com