Two warehouses that allegedly sold counterfeit goods in Binondo, Manila were ordered closed by the Manila city government on Wednesday afternoon.
Among the products found inside the first warehouse were counterfeit products such as shampoos, lotion, body wash, bath bombs, and other high-end products bearing the brands of Unilever, Procter and Gamble, Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, and Bvlgari.
Meanwhile, boxes of Johnson and Johnson’s baby lotion, Cetaphil, bath soaps, medical and cosmetic products, among others, were found in the second warehouse.
Aside from selling fake products, a certain Jerry Ong and one Johnson Sy, operating as lessors, failed to secure business permits for wholesaler, occupational permits for service personnel, and a license to operate from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso personally served the immediate closure orders on Wednesday.
“Dito sa Manila, pwede kayo business, pero kailangan permit. Hindi pwede business walang permit. Walang masamang magnegosyo sa Maynila pero kung walang permit, huwag (Here in Manila, you can do business, but you need a permit. You are not allowed to do business without a permit. There is nothing wrong with doing business in Manila, but if you do not have a permit, don’t do it),” he told reporters.
“Hindi kayo pwedeng siga dito, dayo lang kayo dito. Hindi kayo pwede mag hari-harian dito sa Maynila (You cannot act like thugs here, you are just visitors. You cannot act like a king here in Manila),” he added.
The Manila mayor also warned ecommerce platforms like Shopee and Lazada to strengthen its requirements in allowing sellers to register.
This after the Manila Bureau of Permits said the products in the warehouses are being sold through online shops and are being delivered not only within Metro Manila but also in provinces across the country.
“I think Shopee and Lazada should do some due diligence. It is not always the money, about earning, it’s always about protecting your consumer,” he said.
“If we are not going to receive proper explanation, you may be charged of certain liability because you’re putting the citizens of Manila, the people of Manila (at) risk by allowing these products to be sold in your system,” he added.
The local chief executive also ordered Bureau of Permits and Licenses Office head, Levi Facundo and Manila Police District-Special Mayor’s Reaction Team Chief Rosalino Ibay Jr. to coordinate with the National Bureau of Investigation and the companies involved for further investigation.
Facundo said his office has already coordinated with Lazada to countercheck if the sellers using their platform have business permits.
Pursuant to Section 199 of City Ordinance No. 8331, a fine of not less than P1,000 nor more than P5,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month nor more than six months, or both, depend on the discretion of the court may be faced both by Ong and Sy.
Likewise, under Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code, a penalty of one month and one day to six months of imprisonment, and a fine of not exceeding P500 shall be imposed against the two lessors.