In a move that will make you sit back and question how some people in this world actually manage to climb the ladder of government authority despite being stupid, officials at the Philippines Bureau of Customs destroyed more than 150,000 pairs shoes in Manila yesterday. Their reasoning for shredding the footwear to pieces is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard. Essentially, the shoes, valued at more than $1,100,000 wholesale, were destroyed because they were counterfeits of various well-known brands that were seized in a customs raid.
From the Bureau of Customs:
The condemned fake shoes and slippers of various brands including Nike, Adidas, Converse, Sketchers, Northface, Leaveland, Merelle, Lacoste, Vans, Havaianas, and Ipanema, among others, were seized from Warehouse 4 in Olivares Compound in Parañaque City last February 2014 based on a Warrant of Seizure and Detention for violation of Section 2530 and Section 101 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), as amended in relation to the Intellectual Property Code or Republic Act 8293.
“These counterfeit shoes and slippers were smuggled from China and were part of a big raid we had last year inside the Olivarez Compound in Parañaque City. We seized the warehouse to check the legality of the importation of goods, but the owner failed to produce proof of payment of duties and taxes from Customs. Consequently, the warehouse was padlocked and sealed for BOC custody,” said Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla. “The shipments were subjected to a series of hearing yet it was a no show for any representative of the claimant, so these fake items were forfeited and destroyed.”
So let me get this straight: because the shoes were imported illegally and counterfeit, the best thing to do was destroy them? Just flat out render them unusable for anybody? Straight up nullify all the exploited Chinese labor that went into making these things solely because you can? It’s like the spoiled child who throws a tantrum at his birthday party when he didn’t get what he asked for and decides it’s okay to make everyone else there miserable, because if he’s not having a good time, no one is.
Get a reality check, Filipino customs agents. The poverty line in your country set at a household income of PHP 16,841 (pesos) a year. I did the math, and that equates to $380 A YEAR. There are some astonishingly poor fucking people in your country who live on less money in a calendar year than it would take to foot a single bill at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Now, I’m all for taking measures to protect genuine brands and ensure fair trade, but was it really worth destroying 150,000 pairs of shoes solely for some sort of vindictive, stupid victory proclamation for the hardworking folks just doing their job over at the Bureau of Customs? Almost a QUARTER (some 23.4 percent) of your population lives at or below the poverty line; that’s more than 20 million people who likely can’t afford to buy shoes, let alone food or proper shelter. How did the thought of donating these kicks to charity not even remotely cross your minds?
“Oh, like, a million dollars worth of shoes that just became government property? Yeah, we better destroy them, because that makes the most sense.”
Fuck that. If I were an impoverished Filipino right now, I’d be losing my mind at the thought of this.
I’m sure poor Paco hanging out on the corner would be the most grateful dude ever to have an off-color pair of LeBrons that were three sizes too big, because they’d be exponentially better than trudging around the slums fucking barefoot. You wouldn’t even have to tell him they were fake. Even if you did, I can guarantee he wouldn’t give a shit. You could’ve just put all these shoes in dump trucks and unloaded them all over the country — call it “Robin Hood Day,” or whatever that would translate to in Filipino.
What a huge missed opportunity to do something good for humanity here, Philippines Bureau of Customs. Instead, you guys acted like total assholes..
[via Bureau of Customs]