Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles said the government should double its efforts to promote financial literacy amid an increase in reports of scams during the pandemic, with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealing that it has issued 68 advisories regarding questionable investment offers during the ongoing public health crisis.

In separate advisories, the SEC urged the public to exercise caution in dealing with the following entities:  Forsage, RCashOnline, and The Saint John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta Foundation of the Philippines Inc, among others.

“We have to explore more creative ways to educate our people.”

“We need to crack down on these institutions that prey on Filipinos and take advantage of the uncertain financial outlook of many families,” said the freshman legislator.

“But more than this we also need to buckle down in educating our kababayan on financial matters; the more they know, the less the chances they will be duped.”

Nograles said that as it is, the SEC does not have enough capability to protect investors on the ground, and any effort to do so has already been hampered by the limited movement due to the pandemic.

The solon pointed out: “We have to be realistic; despite the advisories, mahuhulog at mahuhulog pa rin ang mga kababayan natin sa patibong kung hindi natin pupunuin ang information gap tungkol sa ganitong mga scam.”

“We have to explore more creative ways to educate our people not to invest on the promise of quick and high returns,” stressed the lawmaker.

He added that the government should consider using the free airtime alloted for government public service announcements in national and local TV and radio stations for financial literacy drives.

Broadcast franchise grantees are required by law to provide adequate public service time to enable the government to reach the public on important issues, and assist in the functions of public information and education like health advisories.

“The more they know, the less the chances they will be duped.”

“Mabigat ang parusa para sa mga scammers. Ngunit masalimuot ang proseso ng pagsasampa ng kaso laban sa kanila. Sa haba ng proseso, marami sa mga nabibiktima ang pinipili na lang manahimik at hindi maghabla.”

“Kaya baka ang mas nararapat na gawin natin ay gumawa ng mga material na madaling maiintindihan ng mga kababayan natin at ikalat ito sa traditional at social media,” Nograles said.

A maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both await those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of entities engaged in unauthorized investment schemes, for violation of Republic Act No. 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code Securities Regulation Code, among others.

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