Public warned vs groups fronting as MCGI to ask for cash donations

UNTV News   •   June 12, 2019   •   18555

MANILA, Philippines – Several cases of street scams have been reported not only in the Philippines but in different parts of the world.

Scammers usually pose as members of charitable institutions or religious groups to ask for cash donations allegedly to fund charity events or programs.

Many of them have gone viral on social media such as a Filipina who was caught on camera asking money from customers inside a restaurant abroad saying the donations were to support a certain “children’s foundation”.

Another incident which happened in Japan was recorded by an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who, in the video, was questioning another Filipino about the legality of her action. The latter was caught collecting cash donations from passers by allegedly to support the same foundation for children.

Such scheme was reported by a local news agency in Japan.

Three Filipinas also made headlines in Thailand this year for illegally soliciting funds allegedly to support the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines even if the calamity happened six years ago.

The same modus operandi was reported in Brazil where the scammer was confronted by another Filipino in an airport.

The scammer was caught on video asking monetary donations from tourists and locals to allegedly raise a Yolanda fund and also to donate to a certain children’s foundation by a Filipino founder.

Just recently, President Rodrigo Duterte directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate and facilitate the closure of a religiously-inclined group luring Filipinos into an investment scam.

Because such modus operandi have been exposed, scammers are now using the names of legitimate organizations to push their interests.

The Members, Church of God International (MCGI) was not spared from such illegal activities.

A report has reached the knowledge of MCGI administration about individuals posing as supporters of the group’s charity works and collecting money from just anybody on the streets.

The street scammers were using the name of La Verdad Christian College (LVCC) and MCGI to ask for cash donations.

“We vehemently deny the involvement sa mga ganyang klase ng pangongolekta, panghihingi ng donasyon sa kalsada o saan mang lugar, (in any practice of collecting or begging for donations on the streets or just anywhere),” Kuya Daniel Razon said during the program “Good Morning Kuya” on UNTV.

“Hindi po iyan totoo. Hindi po nanggagaling iyan sa organisasyon, iyang ganyang klase ng panghihingi para maipagpatuloy ang ating charity works. Natuto po tayo sa katwiran ng Panginoon na magbatak ng buto,” he further stressed.

(That is not true. That is not a practice in the organization to collect money [from just anybody] to support our charity works. We have learned from the righteousness of God to work and earn a living.)

Kuya Daniel offered a reward to anybody who could provide information that will lead to the arrest of these scammers implicating the names of LVCC and MCGI and to curb such illegal practice while putting those behind the scams to justice.

“Anybody na gumagawa ng ganyan, ipahuli ninyo. Kuhanan ninyo ng video dahil iyan ho ay scam, isang paninira din iyan na maituturing dahil wala hong ganyan na ginagawa ang mga members ng Church of God International o anybody na nagtataguyod po ng La Verdad Christian College or ng ating mga ginagawang mga charity works,” he said.

(Anybody who engages in such schemes, have them arrested. Get videos of them because that is a scam, a form of provocation and defamation because such is not a practice among members of Church of God International or anybody who supports La Verdad Christian College or any of our charity works.)

La Verdad Christian College is a private, non-stock, non-profit institution that provides scholarship to deserving but financially challenged students.

The school is operated by MCGI spearheaded by Bro. Eli Soriano and supported by UNTV under the supervision of Kuya Daniel Razon.

“Sina Bro. Eli Soriano at Kuya Daniel Razon ang isa sa kanilang ginagawa para ma sustain at magtuloy-tuloy ang kanilang advocacy na makapag-provide ng free quality education from pre-school to college (ay) from their own pocket,” noted Shiela Sabugaa, LVCC’s Deputy Administrator.

(Bro. Eli and Kuya Daniel Razon primarily work to sustain their advocacy and to be able to constantly provide free, quality pre-school to college education, (they spend) from their own pockets.)

“Nagbibigay talaga sila (ng) galing sa kanilang sariling pera, business or sweldo. Iyon talaga ang primary source ng fund para sa operational expenses ng La Verdad (Christian College). At para ma-sustain, meron pa silang ibang projects na ginagawa,” she added.

(They provide funds taken from their personal earnings, from their personal businesses or salaries. Those are the primary sources of funds for the operational expenses of La Verdad Christian College. And to sustain it, they do additional projects to generate funds.)

Each La Verdad scholar is entitled to free college education, books, uniform and meals without paying any amount.

Scholars from the provinces are also provided with free lodging, regardless of religious affiliation as long as they have the interest and perseverance to learn.

“Free tuition po talaga as in walang binabayaran maski miscellaneous fees po. Tapos aside pa doon may free lunch pa, may free uniform pa tapos minsan pati mga instructional materials ibinibigay sa amin ng libre – paggamit ng computer sa library, walang bayad, walang internet fee unlike doon sa ibang university,” said La Verdad scholar Carein Claire Viray.

“I can never thank them enough doon sa ginawa nila kasi ang dami nilang buhay na natulungan,” said another scholar, Paul John Nadela.

(I can never thank them enough for what they have done because they have helped many lives.)

“Iyon ang catch doon. They don’t ask anything in return. There are so many scholarships available sa labas and oftentimes after they graduate mandated ka nang magtrabaho ng ganito, mag-render ng ganito or anything and doon sa scholarship na ibinibigay sa amin ni Bro. Eli at Kuya hindi lang siya for academic purposes. Hindi lang nakaka-enrich ng mind pati ng spirit,” he added.

(That’s the catch there. They don’t ask anything in return. There are so many scholarships available outside and oftentimes after you graduated, you are mandated to work for them, to render service or do anything [for them]. The scholarship that Bro. Eli and Kuya provide does not serve for academic purposes only. It does not enrich the mind but also the spirit.)

Aside from the free scholarship provided by LVCC, many charitable works are being jointly operated and supported by MCGI and UNTV such as the daily free ride, medical mission, legal consultation and programs that extend assistance to those in need such as UNTV Cup and concerts for a cause.

DOF orders 24/7 processing of tax exemptions for donations to typhoon victims

Robie de Guzman   •   December 23, 2021

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has ordered the quick and round-the-clock processing of applications for tax and duty exemptions of donations to communities devastated by Typhoon “Odette,” the Department of Finance (DOF) said Thursday.

In a statement, the DOF said this is in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive on expediting relief and rehabilitation efforts in the disaster-hit areas.

The DOF said Dominguez informed the president in a letter dated Dec. 21, 2021, of the department’s readiness to quickly process applications on the grant of these tax and duty exemptions for imported goods to be donated for “Odette” victims.

“Upon the request of Undersecretary Antonette Tionko, Dominguez tasked several officials and personnel of the Revenue Office (RO) of the DOF to be deployed and work in shifts on a 24-hour period to speed up the processing of Tax Exemption Indorsements (TEIs) and the quick release of importations of donated relief consignments expected to come from various foreign governments and international organizations or institutions,” it said.

Tionko heads the DOF’s Revenue Operations Group (ROG), the DOF said.

Dominguez also approved the request to disseminate to the Office of the President and the public the guidelines and requirements on the issuance of TEIs as provided under Section 121 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

Tionko said she made these requests “pending the issuance of the proclamation by the President declaring a state of national calamity because of Typhoon “Odette” and “in compliance with the President’s call to expedite the delivery of relief and rehabilitation efforts.”

Duterte declared on Dec. 21 a state of calamity in six typhoon-battered areas, including Regions 4B (Mimaropa–Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), 6 (Western Visayas), 7 (Central Visayas), 8 (Eastern Visayas), 10 (Northern Mindanao) and 13 (Caraga).

 The finance department said appropriate government agencies such as the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and of Health (DOH), and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) may apply for TEIs that grant tax and duty exemptions to importations under Relief Consignment in the Bureau of Customs.

The local government units, as well as private or non-government organizations duly registered, licensed, or accredited by the appropriate government agencies may also apply for TEIs.

“Relief consignments include food, medicine, equipment and materials for shelter, vehicles and other means of transport that are donated or leased to government institutions and accredited private entities, for free distribution to the affected population or for use during relief and rescue operations in disaster-affected areas,” the DOF said.

The department said the application process for tax and duty exemptions has been made easier by shifting the registration process online at https://teslite.dof.gov.ph.

China sends 20,000 relief packs to Odette-hit areas

Robie de Guzman   •   December 21, 2021

The government of China is sending food packages for those affected by Typhoon Odette in Visayas and Mindanao areas, its Embassy in Manila said Tuesday.

In a statement, the Chinese Embassy said relief packages worth P8 million pesos are on its way to areas devastated by the typhoon.

These areas include Cebu, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao City, and Negros Oriental.

Each package contains five kilograms of rice, 10 canned food and 10 noodles pack, it added.

“Our hearts go out to all the Filipino families who were devastated by Typhoon Odette which has caused massive casualties as well as property loss,” the statement read.

“China will do its utmost to continue its firm support to the disaster relief efforts of the Philippine government and the Filipino people. We wish all those affected could overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homes at an early date.” It added.

In addition to food packages, China also sent 4.725 million kilograms of rice to typhoon-hit areas.

The embassy said about 1.5 million kilograms were allocated for Cebu, while the 3.225 million kilograms in Manila will be transported to other areas.

“We thank the Philippine government, in particular the Department of Social Welfare and Development for their great efforts in urgently distributing these rice to those Filipino families in need,” it said.

Typhoon Odette left many casualties and a trail of destruction when it battered many parts of the Visayas and Mindanao last week.

Local authorities fear the death toll could still go up in the coming days as verification process continues.

PH receives another 2M doses of Pfizer vaccine

UNTV News   •   September 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — An additional 2,020,590 doses of Pfizer vaccines arrived in the Philippines on Sunday night (September 19).

The latest shipment was donated by the US government through the COVAX Facility managed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Aside from ensuring the steady arrival of vaccines, the US government has been supporting the Philippines’ COVID-19 response through its donations of medical supplies and equipment.

“We’re also very happy that the United States has been able to contribute P1.9 billion to the Philippines for treatment, for testing, for equipment like ICU beds and other things that we can work with the Philippines to fight COVID,” US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava said.

Meanwhile, WHO representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe gave the assurance that the COVAX facility will continue to send Pfizer vaccines in the coming days.

An additional 561,600 doses of Pfizer vaccine donated by the US government through COVAX are expected to arrive in the country on Monday night, September 20.

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