December 7, 2023

The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked the public to join the fight against investment scams, as it spearheaded the first Investor Protection Week from Nov. 9 to 13.

The SEC celebrated the Investor Protection Week to promote investor education amid the rising number of unauthorized investment-taking activities, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, the SEC has issued advisories against more than 100 groups and individuals soliciting investments without the necessary licenses.

The Commission also issued cease and desist orders and revocation orders against entities engaging in fraudulent investment schemes, including Boss Network, Forsage, and Fast Track Worldwide, Inc.

The SEC has charged 32 individuals in seven cases for violations of Republic Act 8799 or the Securities Regulation Code and in two cases for violations of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Section 8 of the Securities Regulation Code provides that securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distributed within the Philippines without a registration statement filed with and approved by the SEC.

Ponzi and pyramid schemes are among the most common types of investment fraud in the country, according to the SEC.

As part of its efforts to educate the public and keep them from falling prey to investment scams, the Commission advocated for the institution of Investor Protection Week, which materialized when President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 846, declaring the second week of November of every year as such.

The Investor Protection Week follows the celebration of World Investor Week, a global campaign promoted by the International Organization of Securities Commissions held in October.

“Our fight against investment scams is anchored on the public’s awareness and empowerment to spot, avoid, and expose investment scams,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.

To expand the reach of its investor education programs, the Commission gathered organizations from the public and private sectors to form the SEC Campaign Network, which was launched on Nov. 9.

The Commission will also launch the SEC Academy, an online learning resource center developed in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Education.

The SEC Academy will offer courses and learning modules for students and educators, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs and those looking to invest in securities, among others. – Press release