MANILA, Philippines – Quiapo has been taken out of the list of “notorious markets” in the world selling pirated CDs and DVDs, according to Washington-based Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
Earlier, the USTR dropped from its list five other shopping areas in the Philippines: Greenhills, Divisoria, Makati Cinema Square, Binondo and Baclaran.
As a result, the Philippines has also been stricken off the USTR's 2012 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, which identifies "more than 30 Internet and physical markets that exemplify marketplaces that deal in infringing goods and services, facilitating and sustaining global piracy and counterfeiting."
The country had been in the list for the past six years.
Optical Media Board (OMB) Chairman Ronnie Ricketts said a lot of the credit goes to their agency's collaboration with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), local government units, police and even those who sell the pirated CDs and DVDs themselves.
Ricketts said instead of the usual raid which involves guns and goons, he changed the style by actually talking to the vendors and explaining to them the consequences of their actions.
"Pagpapaliwanag ang word diyan. ‘Di na marahas, ‘di na kailangan maglabas ng baril. Nagtaka sila walang baril. Pwede naman eh," he said.
Ricketts also explained that some of the vendors have changed their products from selling DVDs and CDs to cosmetics, slippers and cellphones.
ABS-CBN News visited Quiapo Tuesday morning and noticed that the vendors are no longer on the streets. But it doesn't mean they're wiped out.
While other Quiapo vendors admitted that there's a noticeable decline in pirated CDs and DVDs for sale, it's still there.
"Nandiyan po sila ‘pag gabi na, minsan pasulpot-sulpot sila," said one vendor.