Posted at 07/01/2011 1:40 PM
Updated as of 07/01/2011 4:59 PM
MANILA, Philippines - Authorities are imposing a total ban on the sale of pirated DVDs in Quiapo, Manila, starting Friday.
The move prompted vendors to sell DVDs for as low as P5 each as of Thursday night.
"Bargain na lang, pinapaubos, kasi bukas hindi mo na mapapakinabangan yan eh," vendor Fahad Pangcatan said.
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim earlier set a 1-month grace period for DVD vendors in Quiapo to leave the illegal trade.
This was in response to a report from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative that identified Quiapo as one of the most notorious intellectual piracy markets in the world.
Ronnie Ricketts, chairman of the Optical Media Board, said they talked to vendors to convince them to shift to other means of livelihood.
"Hindi natin sila pinabayaan, and we even gave them a grace period of one month where we will not conduct any operations," said Ricketts.
Some vendors said they will comply with Lim's order, but others were angry.
"Maawa naman kayo, wala na akong ipapakain sa mga anak ko," Jamilla Salic said.
Some of them believe that the government's new campaign against pirated DVDs will be short-lived and they will be able to return to the trade soon.
Manila officials, however, stressed that they are serious in implementing the law.
"Hindi naman pwede na i-tolerate na lang natin sila palagi," Vice-Mayor Isko Moreno said.
Lim, meanwhile, warned that those found selling pirated DVDs will face charges.
The ban will also be enforced in other parts of the city, he added. -
Report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News