DISTRIBUTORS in Negros Occidental are urged to file a formal complaint with law enforcement agencies so they can act on the proliferation of counterfeit items in the province.
This was stressed in Wednesday’s committee hearing at the Provincial Board attended by representatives of distribution companies, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the hearing was “fruitful,” as they were able to establish which steps the distributors could take to stop the sale of fake products, including soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and cigarette.
“It was very clear to the distributors (on what they will do next), they will relay this to their higher management. It’s their call if when they would file (a formal complaint),” the vice governor said.
As far as the Provincial Board is concerned, they will need more information before making a move, as advised by Fifth District Board Member Alain Gatuslao, chairman of the PB committee on laws, he said.
“As vice governor, I will allow Board Member Gatuslao to guide us in our next step,” he said.
He added: “One of the warning signs that we’ve established is that if a certain brand is sold 40 to 50 percent cheaper at the market that product may not be genuine or authentic, it could be fake.”
Lacson pointed out that “there must be a warehouse that is storing these fake products. I think they (authorities) should identify the warehouse.”
“Our concern is how we can stop this immediately,” adding that it is “alarming” because “this is not the first time that it happened, it comes and it goes. Every time there is detection, there is a tendency for them to lie low until the next season of selling fake products. We need to stop this.”
Maricon Dimatulac, head of FDA-Negros Occidental, said the public should buy from legal retailers, which has mayor’s and business permits, to ensure that the products they are getting authentic items.
“To determine if a product is genuine or fake, it has to undergo sample collection verification and laboratory analysis, if needed,” she said.
Allyson Seballos, trade marketing manager for Negros Island and Panay of Macro and MS Panay Distributions, said they have identified several stores in Bacolod City and in Negros Occidental that are not authorized to sell their products, but they have not coordinated with authorities on the matter yet.
Macro and MS Panay Distributions is the exclusive distributor of Procter and Gamble in the province.
Seballos also presented to the committee samples of fake bath soaps being sold in the market.
The fake bath soap is darker in color compared to the original while its packaging is thicker compare to the real one, she said.