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What’s the point of an anti-scams task force?

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently appointed the Department of Finance (DoF) to head a task force intended to protect Filipinos against investment scams, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Additional task force members that will provide DoF with support include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and House and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

The move came following the recent upsurge of investment scams in the Philippines that defrauded thousands of Filipinos their hard-earned money.

The task force is empowered to "monitor investment schemes, including real estate projects, especially those marketed to the public and overseas Filipino workers."

Specifically, the task force is expected to:

  • Monitor investment schemes and products.
  • Give public warnings on questionable schemes and products.
  • File evidence and recommend prosecution to the DOJ.
  • Recommend appropriate legislation and regulations for investor protection.

We, however, think the creation of the task force amounts to admission on the part of the government that it has been ineffective in the past in terms of dealing with fraudulent investment programs.

It's not like investment scams emerged only now. True, their number has risen recently, but that does not mean no government body was — and still is — in charge of those.

The SEC has long been tasked with identifying and closing investment programs suspected of operating as a pyramid or Ponzi. The NBI too has been involved with hunting down criminals, including scammers who defraud the investing public.

For what actual purpose, then, is this anti-investment scams task force?

Granted the intentions were good. But the task force's responsibilities are just redundant with the SEC's and NBI's. What Arroyo could have simply done was enjoin both the SEC and NBI to strengthen their monitoring and policing powers in order to catch more scammers. In addition, the two agencies should ask the public for more cooperation with regard to reporting scams and would-be scams.

Of course, in order to do this, the SEC and NBI would need more budget to be able to follow the complicated online trail of scammers. More money should also be placed in the government's Witness Protection Program to attract more people, especially employees or agents of investment scams, to report scammers.

The least the public needs right now is another government task force. In order to reduce, if not totally eliminate, investment scams in the Philippines, what Filipinos need is more information about scams and investment programs and a bolder move on the part of existing government agencies to hunt down and jail scammers.  

Join the discussion in the "Government's Anti-Scams Task Force" thread in the PMT Forum.

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28 thoughts on “What’s the point of an anti-scams task force?”

  1. tanya says:

    Has anyone heard of the company Royal Manchester Five? My dad has invested quite a lot of money with them. They allegedly do forex-related investments. My brother and I have tried to research about the company but have found zero information about them online. Our dad showed us what seemed like a promissory note printed on scented glossy stationery as his “investment contract”! They promise him post-dated cheques to pay for the interest, and on maturity, the final cheque will include the principal amt you invested. The minimum investment is Php250k or 500k (i forgot the exact amt), and for USD investments you’ll get your post-dated cheques in peso (using the current market rate on that day). We keep telling our dad to pull out his money but he says wala pa daw maturity and the broker/agent is a mutual friend/acquaintance daw and that the company has been around for 5 years na daw! We are really afraid of losing our family’s savings since we are just middle class with two younger siblings still studying. Hope someone can give us info or advice. Thank you very much.

  2. pinoymoneytalk says:

    Drop by the Royal Manchester Five thread in the PMT Forum. Members have been discussing this company for months now. You’ll surely find some useful info about them in that discussion thread.

  3. Jonathan Cariaso says:

    I just want to let everyone
    know and to become aware that a certain JONATHAN CARIASO with
    mobile numbers; 

    09333415354  and 093233658024

     is a scammer and case
    of Estafa is filed against this person he is currently a contractor for
    renovation and finishing designs including décor supplies and a computer

     He will come to your house or office to
    place an order and later will do his acts of scam.

     He’s car is a green sentra i am withholding
    his plate number  for future use

    and picture too, but just
    in case you encounter this person JONATHAN CARIASO, beware
    online users especially buyers.

    take note of this person in the internet he will use different names and

  4. wildstar gold says:

    Proud of you .

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