By Caesar J. Poblador
Garbage from Canada, in 50 freights, smuggled into the Philippines, – really, even garbage?
So what else is new? This bit of seeming news trivia (see link at http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/577090/50-freight-containers-of-trash-traced-to-valenzuela-city-firm) reinforces the everyday narrative that people will stop at nothing to make a good buck, and lots of it. But on second look, there is nothing to trivialize. If garbage can easily slip through, then everything else can, and will. Even drugs. And that’s when the stake becomes much higher. Governments and society do fall into disarray when drug money influences policy-making. Borders thus should be tightened, and in this, hats off to that sector in society which has always been in the forefront of border protection – the trademark owners. If there’s one constant presence that watches over customs borders, it is these trademark owners. Their ploy of stemming counterfeiting at the border should work equally well to suppress the entry of other contraband. It should stand as a model of vigilance and quick action. It should not be seen as protecting the turf of wealthy trademark owners, but the overall strategy to put up a fight against all manner of economic activity involving contraband, for the protection of all. We deal with fakes now decisively, we deal with drug smuggling in the end. We fail even in this task of protecting trademarks, then we cannot defeat the menace of drugs in this country. And for the everyday life among us ordinary people, this should give us pause when tempted by cheap counterfeit. Buying it will egg on demand, which will embolden more smuggling, which will naturally lead the smuggler to expand to other contraband that can cause nations to fall. Like drugs.