VM Garcia files ordinance vs fake goods, illicit tobacco trade

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 26,2023 - 03:05 PM

Inquirer file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, filed an ordinance that would curtail the sale, rental, transfer, and distribution of pirated, counterfeit, or fake goods, and illicit tobacco trade.

The city council, during its regular session on Wednesday, referred the vice mayor’s proposed ordinance, with a shortened title “Anti-Illicit Trade and Fake Goods Ordinance,” to the Committee on Laws, Ordinances, and Styling.

Under Garcia’s proposed measure, all business licenses and permits issued by Cebu City should carry the express conditions: (1) that the licensee shall not engage in the sale, rental, transfer, distribution, manufacture, and/or production of pirated, counterfeit, or fake goods, articles and/or services and illicit tobacco products, and (2) that the licensee shall not allow other persons to commit said acts within its business establishment or premises.

Garcia said the proliferation of illicit tobacco products and counterfeiting of intellectual property rights “not only cause economic prejudice and demoralization” among legitimate businessmen and establishments but also discourage foreign investments and undermine the city’s strategy for growth and development resulting in “unrealized revenues and taxes.”

His proposed measure refers “illicit tobacco products” to cigarettes, vapor products, and heated tobacco products that have no genuine internal revenue stamp.

These include those that do not have the graphic health warnings required under Republic Act No. 10643 or do not comply with the minimum price as required by law.

Once approved, violators of this ordinance will be meted with a suspension of their business permit or license for a period of 15 days for the first violation; 30 days for the second violation, and the revocation of their business permit for the third and subsequent violations.

“In case illicit tobacco products are found within the premises, the erring licensee shall be required to pay an administrative fine of P5,000 to the City of Cebu,” reads a portion of the proposed ordinance.

The city government will also confiscate pirated, counterfeit, or fake goods, illicit tobacco products, and articles of those persons engaged in business or trade without the required permit.     /rcg

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TAGS: CDN, Cebu City, Cebu City Council, Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, Cebu Daily News, cebu news
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