Rep. Garbin lobbies for more protection vs. investment scams

MANILA (Bicol Standard) – Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin is calling for the revival of the proposed measure that will grant the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) additional power to file charges against dubious investment firms.

In a statement released over the weekend, Garbin said 16 advisories against shady investment schemes have been issued this year alone.

The solon from Albay is one of the authors of House Bill 8791, also known as the Collective Investment Schemes Law.

Said bill establishes a comprehensive regulatory and tax framework to enable Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) and all participants therein to play key roles in the development of the capital market.

The same bill, it would be recalled, was already approved in the Lower House earlier this year but was not acted on by the Senate.

Garbin noted: “When retirees, seniors, mothers, OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), teachers place their hard-earned income, savings, retirement pay, or pension in 'too good to be true' investment schemes, the SEC must do more than just issue advisories.”

"The SEC must investigate, suspend, revoke business documents, and file charges directly with the government prosecutors in the cities and towns where the head offices of the suspected scammers are located," he added.

He further said the SEC must also alert the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Anti-Money Laundering Council as regards the suspicious and illegal business behavior of the entities they have found to be engaged in investment scams, so that the money trail can be closely monitored and evidence gathered.