P21-M pirated DVDs seized in Zamboanga City

The production of a film or a music album cost millions of pesos while pirates only spend P5 to produce a copy of the movie's DVD. (Entrepworld photo)

Millions of pesos worth of pirated digital video discs (DVDs) were seized in simultaneous raids at downtown establishments in Zamboanga City on Saturday.

OMB personnel headed by Lawyer Anselmo Adriano, the chairman and chief executive officer of the agency, backed by members of the Philippine National Police’s Regional Public Safety Battalion 9 (RPSB – 9) swooped down the establishments shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday.

Adriano said that around P21 million worth of pirated DVDs were seized in three establishments located along La Purisima and Tomas Claudio Streets.

However, Adriano said the worth could be higher citing they have yet to conduct inventory on the confiscated pirated DVDs coming from other stalls.

Adriano said the seized pirated DVDs, which were placed in sacks, will be taken to the RPSB – 9 headquarters in Barangay Mercedes for proper inventory.

He said the government and the movie industry are losing millions of pesos in terms of revenues and income brought about by the proliferation of pirated DVDs.

He said the production of a film or a music album cost millions of pesos “while they only spend P5 to produce a pirated DVD.”

“It’s a big loss to our movie industry and the government is doing its best to stop this,” he added.

Adriano admitted that they lack personnel to cover the entire country since they only have 24 staff members all based in Manila.

The OMB, which is under the Office of the President, has no offices and personnel in the cities and provinces in the country.

“We really cannot do this (raid) on a regular or periodic basis, but we are really doing our best to cover all areas,” he said.

Adriano said the owners of the establishments caught selling pirated DVDs will be dealt with accordingly based on the provisions of Republic Act 9239 otherwise known as the Optical Media Act of 2003. (PNA)