LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The provincial board approved on first reading a proposed ordinance to curtail the sale, rental, transfer, distribution, manufacture and production of pirated, counterfeit, or fake goods, articles or services and for other purposes.
The ordinance authored by boardmmbers Concepcion D. Balao and Robert Namoro stated all businesses licenses and permits issued shall carry expressed provision or condition that the licensee shall not engage in the sale, rental, transfer, distribution, manufacture or production of pirated, counterfeit or fake goods, articles or services nor shall permit other persons to commit said acts within the licensee’s business establishment or premises.
Balao underscored the fact that the provincial government adheres to the policy of the national government to curb the proliferation and introduction into commerce of pirated, counterfeit or fake goods, articles or services, and the commission of other acts that violates intellectual property rights as protected by law.
Under the proposed ordinance, any breach or violation of the condition as set forth in the measure shall be a ground for the revocation or suspension of the business permit or license for a period of not more than ten days for the first offense, 30 days for the second offense and the outright cancellation of the same for the third and succeeding offenses.
Further, the proposal added the pirated, counterfeit or fake goods and articles of any person engaged in any business or trade, with or without any license or permit, shall be taken into preventive custody and disposed of in accordance with existing rules and regulations.
However, Balao clarified the licensee that committed such violations may, within 24 hours from notice of an order to suspend or cancel the business license or permit or take the custody of the pirated, counterfeit or fake goods, articles or services can move to consider said order.
The municipal mayo can rule upon the reconsideration filed by the affected licensee within fifteen days from receipt and that the notice of suspension or cancellation of the business license or permit shall be issued by the local chief executive after an inspection of the business establishment concerned is conducted and that the said inspection may be on the occasion of a general inspection regularly conducted by the municipal government or such purpose only upon receipt of a complaint or information that the licensee is engaged in the sale, rental, transfer, distribution, manufacture and production of fake goods, articles and services.
The ordinance provides that the municipality may seek the assistance or coordination of the police force, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Optical Medial Board (OMB) and other law enforcement agencies in conducting the inspection.
Violators of the provisions of the ordinance shall be penalized by a fine of P2,500 or an imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both upon the discretion of the court aside from the suspension or cancellation of the permits issued to them among others.
If the offense is committed by a juridical person, the ordinance states that the stockholder, chairperson, president, officer, director, trustee, partner or manager who committed or caused the commission of such offenses, shall be liable for the charges.