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Securities and Exchange Commission Davao shores up investors education campaign against financial, investment frauds

Heads of government agencies in Kidapawan City showed their respective memoranda of agreements with the SEC, underscoring their commitments to work together in harmony and unity with a shared vision for promoting economic stability and ensuring that the public can make informed investment decisions and is protected from financial harm. (Photo: PIA Region 12)

KORONADAL CITY (PIA) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission-Davao Extension Office (SEC-DAVEO) inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the city government of Kidapawan, the City Police Office, and the National Bureau of Investigation-Cotabato District Office during its Investor Education Roadshow on October 19, stepping up its investor education campaigns in Soccsksargen.

The agreement aims to strengthen SEC’s campaign against financial crimes and promote financial literacy in the city and the entire Soccsksargen with active commitment and involvement of key agencies and stakeholders to raise awareness and increase knowledge among the majority of people in the area.

Lawyer Katrina Ponco-Estares, director of SEC-Davao, said the agreement also cemented the commitment of the Kidapawan city government and other stakeholders in helping SEC implement its project dubbed “SEC Communication, Advocacy, and Network (SEC-CAN),” a campaign network tasked with educating the public on investing, financial literacy, investor protection, and investment scams.

“SEC needs to establish and strengthen effective linkages, communications, and collaborative activities with appropriate government regulators, professional/business organizations, local government units, the academe, non-governmental organizations, market participants, and all stakeholders in investor’s education and advocacy, with a view to establishing and sustaining a continuing program aimed at strengthening the SEC’s presence, especially at the grassroots level, and promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” Director Ponco-Estares stated.

In a letter to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region 12, the SEC-DEO expressed its desire to officially partner with the office in its campaign to fight all kinds of financial and investment frauds through the MOA signing in Kidapawan City.

“We hope you will also partner and join hands with the SEC in this campaign. We believe that by pooling our expertise and resources, we can make significant strides in protecting our communities from financial harm,” Ponco-Estares wrote to PIA 12 Regional Head Fryan Abkilan.

Reiterating the importance of this partnership during the MOA signing, the official thanked several partners from national government agencies and local government units and those who have been supporting and helping disseminate their public advisories and other information across the region.

“With the numerous mandates of the commission, from the registration to the monitoring of corporations and to oversee the goals of the capital market and to protect investors from scams, we acknowledge the fact that we need your support,” she pointed out.

Director Ponco-Estares emphasized the SEC’s commitment to its duty to protect and serve as the corporate regulator of the government.

She also urged everyone to work together “to foster mutual cooperation and coordination and information sharing to help” raise awareness and educate people about business, investment, and financing to protect people from fraudulent transactions.  

“We have already partnered with the academe and government agencies, and other private organizations from Regions 11 and 12. We have conducted seminars and webinars on the registration process, report requirements, and investment scams,” Director Ponco-Estares said, as she thanked the SEC’s campaign network composed of its IEC partners for their cooperation while encouraging them to be on alert for any financial scheme or bogus investment in their respective areas.

Securities and Exchange Commission-Davao Extension Office Director Katrina Ponco-Estares and Kidapawan City Mayor Jose Paolo M. Evangelista, displaying their signed agreements. Mayor Evangelista committed to working hand-in-hand with the SEC to promote economic development, financial literacy, investor education, and investment opportunities in the city. (Photo: PIA Region 12)

Meanwhile, Kidapawan City Mayor Jose Paolo Evangelista commended the SEC for doing a great job, especially for taking quick action on issues relating to investment scams and fraud in the region, leading to the recent shutdown of the biggest Ponzi scheme in the Philippines, which operated in Soccsksargen and other areas in Mindanao.

He also thanked the agency for partnering with the city government and other government agencies based in Kidapawan City, as he expressed his full support for educating investors so they can protect themselves against fraud and scammers.

Mayor Evangelista said that, just like SEC, he would never wish for any of his constituents to get entangled in or become victims of investment scams or fraudulent financial activities, citing the importance of the agency’s initiative to educate and protect the interests of people, especially investors.

The SEC also hopes to bring its investor education roadshow to other areas in Soccsksargen and forge partnerships with other local chief executives and heads of agencies in the region next year. (ACA – PIA Region 12)

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Harlem Jude Ferolino

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