Jinggoy wants one-peso budget for Optical Media Board for ’23

(MANILA STANDARD) The Optical Media Board (OMB) should only have a budget of one peso in next year’s proposed P5.268-trillion national budget with its lackluster performance in the past year, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said Sunday.

Based on his research, Estrada said in a statement the OMB “had no performance whatsoever for the past year.”

“No collection, no apprehension of violators, none, a truly zero performance. One year in office, they did nothing, zero performance,” he said.

OMB oversees the protection and promotion of intellectual property rights in digital form.

In hearing the OMB’s proposed P75.858-million appropriations for 2023, Estrada questioned the agency’s chairman Jeremy Marquez over its lackluster performance since he took the helm of the regulatory office.

“During your term, there were zero administrative cases filed against violators of RA 9239 from November 2021 when you took over until about July of this year 2022. In contrast, the OMB was averaging 200 administrative cases filed each month before you took over,” he said.

Compared with Marquez’s predecessors, Estrada said the OMB collected P560,000 in 2018, P1.83 million in 2019; P350,000 in 2020; and P2.3 million in 2021 in administrative penalties.

“And during your term, zero collection. Number two, zero seizures of counterfeit and illegal storage devices from November 2021, when you took over, until August of this year. In fact, you only recently ordered the OMB agents to conduct a seizure operation against violators of RA 9239 just so you can have something to report for the budget deliberations in both Houses of Congress,” Estrada said.

The number of seizures of illegal digital products such as compact disks and DVDs (digital versatile discs) per year of OMB between 2018 and 2021 ranged from P71.65 million to as much as P309.9 million. When Marquez became the chairman, it went down to only P100,000.