THE Davao City Business Bureau padlocked a self-styled Davao-originated multi-level marketing company for violations of city ordinance and lack of Securities and Exchange Commission Permit.
Jacama has gained vast popularity in the past months as it offered an investment scheme that some investors claim have made them millionaires overnight.
Davao City officials, led by Assistant City Administrator Tristan Dwight Domingo and Business Bureau Chief Lawrence Bantiding, personally served a closure order to Jacama Sales and Marketing Corporation.
Based on the closure order released by the city business bureau and signed by Bantiding, Jacama secured a business and mayor’s permit in 2015 for different business lines.
“Based on our record you have secured 2015 mayors permit and authorized for the following business lines only: Retailer of general merchandise such as grocery items, food supplements and other dry goods and wholesaler of appliances (booking office),” the order read.
The order also said that the Jacama was identified through Security Exchange Commission (SEC) Advisory dated January 11, 2016 which states that Jacama as a business entity engaged in the public offering and sale of securities in the form of investment of contracts which needs necessary license or permit from SEC, which Jacama failed to secure.
In an earlier interview with SEC Davao director Jayvee Francisco, he intimated that there have been several inquiries about the company because of what is perceived as a pyramiding scheme.
But, Francisco said, they have no coverage over it since Jacama was registered as a single proprietorship. Jacama was offering clients its cash back guarantee sales program thru cash sales rebates wherein one will pour some amount (Package one = P1,800), get a certain package may it be groceries, appliance, or gift certificate worth P400 and every 15-days will receive an amount (Package one = P450 per 15 days) for three months.
From the P1,800 the client poured in the program for the package one, after three months it will bring in some 150 percent or a total of P2,700.
But such activity is also not included in the authority contained in the mayor’s permit that Jacama applied.
The conduct of such business activity without the required mayor’s permit is a violation to the city ordinance No. 0158-05, which requires that any business must have these local permits. Based on the closure order, the establishment is closed effective immediately until such time that the company has secured the necessary licenses and permit especially from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Jacama customers were agitated insisting that not one of them have ever complained against how Jacama works.
”Ang systema man gud sa Jacama, cash back siya… kung mamalit mo diri mabalik ang among kwarta. Pangit jud kaayoa ngikasulti namo ma'am, kay okay man kaayo mi wala man mi ikasulti karon. Wala man mi nireklamo (The system in Jacama is cashback... if you will buy here your money will be returned. We really can only react to this closure negatively since we are okay here, we don’t have any complaints,” Jay Jamil one of the Jacama member present during the lock-up of the establishment headed by the Business bureau.
Sergio Gresones, who was about to get this pay out since it is the 15th of the month, was also dismayed.
“Tanan buyers mi diri wala jud walay complain pirmero P100,000 nahimong P33,000 pag-abot sa isa ka kinsenas so unom ka kinsenas muabot naug 208,000 ang akong kwarta na kuha na nako, unya gibalik nasad namo ug pay-in kung gusto lang namo kay dili man mi pugson sa kumpanya (We are all buyers here and we don’t have complaints. My first try I invested a total of P100,000, from which I got P33,000 in the next 15 days, so in three months it reached up to P208,000 and I’ve already received that, and now again I’ve returned it back for pay in, which is not mandatory in the company,” Sergio Gresones from Deca Homes Davao city , who joined Jacama last November.
Gresones that he can get products from Jacama, which can be used every day, and this does not get deducted from his investment.
“The company is giving us gift checks and they do not require us to recruit but I have downliners, relatives of mine. It is important in our family business so that the income would grow,” Gresones said in vernacular.
Levi Romero who said he was part of the Jacama since 2009, estimated total members to around 70,000 from all over Mindanao.
”I am a member of Jacama for a very long time, my life was changed, I helped many people so why they would hit or put Jacama under fire. I believe that Jacama is just grilled for now. We have business permit,” Romero said. Jacama is solely owned by Janus Carlos Manalang and Jacama is the acronym of his name.
Jacama in an advisory posted in their office dated January 15, 2015 addressed their partners and buyers that their office will be voluntarily stopping operations on January 20, 2016.
The advisory read that though the office will cease all transactions the business entity will continue and they will just change the address. In the regard of the situation, they request all the partners and buyers individual bank account details, adding that if that buyer does not have bank account they will facilitate the opening of the new account. “These accounts will be used to facilitate all your payouts. If you have other concerns, please coordinate with your group leaders or call 222-7012 or 09164929157,” the advisory read.
In the letter advisory General Manager/Owner Janus Carlo Manalang thanked all those who put trust and confidence in Jacama.
“My apologies for that inconvenience it may cause on your side, but our journey together will not end it is just beginning,” it read.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 16, 2016.
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