CEBU CITY – Provincial Board member Glenn Anthony Soco said he would propose the creation of a task force that will run against establishments and individuals involved in investment scams.
Soco said the local government units (LGUs) down to the barangay level should augment the efforts of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in monitoring suspicious activities of companies offering investment portfolio similar to a Ponzi scheme that lures unsuspecting investors with high rates of return and little risk.
He said the LGUs can do their part in reporting investment firms if local officials find their activities suspicious.
Soco expressed concerns over the proliferation of fraudulent investment schemes now also being offered on social media platforms and has reached Cebu. “Through this investment scam, the province will lose valuable money which could have been invested in the right businesses. Instead of increasing the economic value of the province of Cebu, the money duped by investment scams will go out of our economic system,” Soco, who served as president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry before being elected to the provincial board, told the Philippine News Agency.
He lamented that the money invested in unregistered companies are not properly taxed.“There’s a social effect on that. Imagine a family losing valuable money that could have been spent on children’s education. Retirees are also losing money to these scams,” he said.
The local government officials, he said, can use their regulatory powers in knowing the nature of the businesses in their area of responsibility before they can issue permits and licenses. Soco also passed a resolution urging LGUs down to the barangay level to intensify monitor and surveillance of business in their jurisdiction engaged in illegal investment activities disguised as legitimate business entities.
He stressed that LGUs “must keep themselves abreast of the latest pronouncements by the SEC of suspicious entities engaged in illegal investment activities duly-registered yet masquerading as a legitimate business. The local government units must refrain from registering and/or issuing permits to said entities and immediately report the same to the Securities and Exchange Commission.” (John Rey Saavedra)
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