A SENATOR will call for a reduction in the Optical Media Board’s (OMB) proposed 2023 budget to P1 from P75.86 million due to the agency’s failure to carry out its duties under its current head.
“According to my research, the OMB had no performance whatsoever for the past year. No collection, no apprehension of violators, nothing, truly zero performance,” Senator Jose “Jinggoy” E. Estrada said in a statement on Thursday.
“That’s why on Monday, during continuing budget plenary deliberations in the Senate, I will propose a one-peso budget for OMB,” he said.
OMB is a government agency under the Office of the President responsible for regulating the production, use and distribution of recording media in the Philippines.
During an October hearing, Mr. Estrada questioned the agency’s chairman, Jeremy S. Marquez, over OMB’s “lackluster performance” in protecting and promoting intellectual property rights in digital form.
“During your term, there were zero administrative cases filed against violators of RA (Republic Act) 9239 from November 2021 when you took over until about July of this year 2022,” the senator said.
“In contrast, the OMB was averaging 200 administrative cases filed each month before you took over,” he added.
The lawmaker also noted that during Mr. Marquez’s term, there were no collection nor seizures of counterfeit and illegal storage devices.
The OMB chairman, in response, said they saw no need to conduct seizure operations since the selling of pirated DVDs was no longer as rampant as in the past.
“It can’t be like that. Because when you sin, when you break the law, you have to act,” Mr. Estrada said.
“You can’t be friendly to everyone. If you become friendly with thieves, if you become friendly with violators of the law, nothing will happen. You really can’t apprehend anything,” he added. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan