The Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) will be conducting unscheduled inspections in Southern Luzon this May to thwart the sale and use of illegal software in the region.
The PAPT, composed of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Philippine National Police (PNP)and the Optical Media Board (OMB), will be visiting retailers and businesses in Laguna, Batangas and Cavite at random to check if all software being sold and used are properly licensed.
In addition to inspections, OMB Chairman Ronnie Ricketts, said that the PAPT will also be conducting education campaigns to inform the public not just on the risks of using illegal software but the industry they are unknowingly supporting.
“For one, the purchase and use of illegal software, without them knowing, could be funding other illegal activities,” he adds.
The watchdog is hard at work to keep the Philippines off the the US Trade Representative Special 301 Watch List of piracy hotspots. The US removed the island nation on the list just last April, the first time after 20 years.
“While intellectual property awareness in the country has improved considerably, there are still businesses in the Philippines that continue to resort to illegal software. Businesses must know that the use of pirated software raises the risks of malware infections that may disrupt their operations, resulting in lower productivity and higher IT costs,” said IPOPHL Director General Ricardo Blancaflor.
The anti-piracy efforts of PAPT is backed by stringent laws and heavy penalties. Infringers could face up to nine years of imprisonment and or a fine of up to P 1.5 million.