Beware of false claims: BSP denies approving KAPA investment scheme

Robie de Guzman   •   August 28, 2019   •   1782

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday denied claims it has approved the investment scheme of Kapa-Community Ministry International, Inc. (KAPA).

“The BSP advises the public that it has not released any statement or any issuance concerning the Kapa-Community Ministry International, Inc. (KAPA) or any of its affiliates,” the central bank said in a statement.

It also stressed that KAPA is not a BSP-supervised entity.

“This clarification is being issued in view of reports, particularly, on social media, falsely claiming that the BSP has issued a statement purportedly approving KAPA’s investment scheme or questioning delays on its approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),” the BSP said.

The SEC earlier renewed its warning and urged the public to exercise caution and discernment amid false claims allegedly made by KAPA on social media about securing necessary licenses to resume its operations.

READ: SEC warns public against KAPA’s false claims

KAPA also claimed to have filed an application for a secondary license to sell and offer for sale securities.

“SEC has already issued a cease and desist order against KAPA in February 2019 and an order of revocation of its certification of incorporation in April 2019 after KAPA was found to have been soliciting investments from the public without the necessary license, and that its investment scheme qualifies as a fraud and a Ponzi scheme,” the central bank said.

SEC records show that KAPA registered as an independent religious organization in March 2017 indicating its headquarters in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur.

Under its scheme, KAPA enticed the public to “donate” P10,000 in exchange for a 30% monthly “blessing” or “love gift” for life, without having to do anything other than shell out money and wait for the promised payout.

But based on the SEC’s investigation, KAPA promised its members billions of pesos in returns but its assets cannot back up such claims.

The SEC previously issued an advisory against Kapa for unauthorized soliciting of investments.   

Section 8 of Republic Act No. 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code, provides that “securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the Philippines, without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the Commission.”

Section 26 of the Code further prohibits fraudulent transactions, including Ponzi schemes where investors are lured with impossibly high returns and paid using money contributed by other investors

Section 28 further states that no person shall engage in the business of buying or selling securities in the Philippines as a broker or dealer, or act as a salesman, or an associated person of any broker or dealer unless registered with the SEC.

In light of this, the SEC said those acting as salesman, broker or agent may be prosecuted and held criminally liable. They may also face a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both, pursuant to Section 73 of the Securities Regulation Code.

Last June, the SEC filed criminal complaints against KAPA, its founder and other officials involved in the scheme.

In the same month, the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered the freezing of several bank accounts and other assets linked to Kapa upon the petition of the SEC and the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

Bangko Sentral shares tips in determining fake banknotes

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday advised the public to carefully check their banknotes to ascertain the genuineness of the Philippine currency.

The BSP issued the advisory following reports circulating in social media and messaging apps on the existence of alleged counterfeit 1000-Peso banknotes.

Under Republic Act No. 10951, counterfeiters of Philippine currency are subject to the penalty of imprisonment of at least 12 years and 1 day and a fine not exceeding two million pesos, the central bank warned.

To check the authenticity of the new generation currency (NGC) banknotes, the BSP advised the public to use the “Feel-Look-Tilt” method to check the security features.

A detailed illustration of this method has been posted on BSP’s website.

Photo_NGC_ENGC.jpg

“From January to June 2021, the BSP led five successful law enforcement operations that resulted in the arrest of 14 individuals and the filing of nine separate criminal charges,” the central bank said.

The BSP also said it regularly conducts public information campaigns to educate the public on the design, security features, and proper handling of Philippine currency as well as relevant laws, policies, and programs.

“The BSP enhanced the New Generation Currency (NGC) banknotes to incorporate the latest anti-counterfeiting technology and improve the visual and tactile differentiation of each denomination,” it said.

The central bank advised the public to immediately report any information on counterfeiting of Philippine currency to the nearest police station or law enforcement agency for appropriate action.

The public may also reach the Payments and Currency Investigation Group (PCIG) at this email address, it added.

BSP reminds banks to accept mutilated banknotes, coins

Marje Pelayo   •   August 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday (August 20) reminded all authorized agent banks to accept mutilated banknotes and coins from the public.

Pursuant to BSP Circular No. 829, all BSP-authorized agent banks shall subsequently forward the said mutilated and/or doubtful currencies to the BSP for examination of redemption value and/or genuineness.

To avoid disintegration or further deterioration while in transit, banks are advised to place mutilated currency in appropriate containers.

Mutilated banknotes shall be valid for redemption if all of the following requirements are met;​

– The remaining surface area is no less than 3/5 of the original size of the banknote;

– A portion of any one of the signatures of the President of the Philippines or the Governor of the BSP remains; and

– Presence of the Embedded Security Thread (EST) or Windowed Security Thread (WST), unless the same is lost or damaged due to fire, water, chemical, or bitten by termites/rodents and the like.

Banknotes whose EST or WST were willfully removed shall not be valid for redemption.

The BSP encourages the cooperation of the banks and the public to help the agency preserve the integrity of Philippine currency.

Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos up by 6.7% in first half of 2021 — BSP

Marje Pelayo   •   August 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported a huge increase in the remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) during the first half of the year, according to BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno.

In the agency’s report posted on Monday (August 16), the OFs’ cumulative remittances rose by 6.7 percent to US$16.616 billion in the first half of 2021 from US$15.573 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2020.

This was attributed to the increase in OFs’ personal remittances by 7.3 percent to US$2.936 billion in June 2021 from US$2.737 billion in June 2020.

Similarly, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks rose by 7.0 percent to US$2.638 billion in June 2021 from US$2.465 billion recorded in the same month last year.

On a year-to-date basis, cash remittances rose to US$14.918. billion in the first half of 2021 which is higher by 6.4 percent than the year-ago level of US$14.019 billion.

According to the BSP report, the highest source of remittances came from the United States at 40.1% followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, South Korea, Qatar, and Taiwan.

According to the BSP, personal remittances are the sum of net compensation of employees, personal transfers, and capital transfers between households; while cash remittances are remittances of sea- and land-based OFs in the form of cash coursed through banks and foreign exchange companies.

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