2 firms in Cebu ‘not authorized to accept investors’ money’

AS HUNDREDS of members await their payout, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Cebu extension office cautioned the public against investing their hard-earned money in two companies holding office in Mandaue City, Cebu.

Lawyer Alma Estrada-Dalena, SEC Cebu extension office Securities Counsel I, told SunStar Cebu that Ada Farm Agri Ventures is not registered with the commission and Organico Agribusiness Ventures Corp. does not have a secondary license to accept investments.

“We received a lot of inquiries about the legitimacy of Organico and one about Ada Farm. There were a lot of complaints against us on why they were given a certification of incorporation and the answer to that is because the Articles of Incorporation they submitted to the office were right. We wouldn’t know if they are lying and their goal is to scam the people,” she said in Cebuano.

SunStar Cebu tried to get the side of both Organico and ADA Farm Cebu through a phone interview and via social media, respectively, on Friday, June 7, 2019, but the personnel of both companies refused to comment on the matter.

“We will not comment, ma’am. Thank you,” an employee of the office of Organico said.

In a Facebook personal message, ADA Farm Cebu said it will only answer questions in their office.

In an advisory posted on their website on May 31, 2019, the SEC said Ada Farm entices the public to invest by purchasing a minimum of 10 chicks worth P500 with a guaranteed profit of 80 percent in 60 days.

“The public is hereby informed that Ada Farm is not registered with the Commission as a corporation or partnership and is NOT authorized to offer, solicit, sell or distribute any investment/securities. Such activities require a Secondary License from the Commission and the securities or investment product should likewise be registered with the SEC before they can be offered or sold to the public,” the advisory read.

Organico, on the other hand, is SEC registered but doesn’t have authorization to take investments.

In a May 21, 2018 advisory, the commission stated that Organico “is engaged in soliciting investment wherein an investor must invest in at least 10 shares, with one share costing P1,800. For every share, an investor gets P450 every 15 days or a total of P2,700 in three months.”

“Allegedly, the money invested will be used to fund the company’s diverse businesses, which include organic farming, organic poultry, organic piggery, restaurant serving organic food, telemarketing, music studio and construction and eventually, an organic meat shop. Another investment scheme is the 90-day investment, where for every P3,600 invested, one piglet is raised and sold after three months and the investor gets his money back with profit for a total of P7,000,” the statement added.

For violating the law, Dalena said they can recommend to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file complaints against companies offering questionable investment schemes if there are complainants.

“We can recommend to DOJ to file this case and the DOJ will be the one to take care of it,” she said. “We are a regulatory body but we don’t have judicial powers. However, we can recommend possible cases to DOJ.”

Dalena cited the Aman Futures pyramid scam where investors from Pagadian City, Visayas and other parts of Mindanao lost P12 billion.

Dalena said Aman Futures was statistically bound to collapse.

“It was pyramiding. Look at Kapa. Why did they come here? Because they already recruited almost everyone in Mindanao to continue paying their members or giving them ‘blessings’ so they have to move to another place. Eventually, if they manage to recruit the whole Philippines, it’s bound to fall,” she said.

Kapa Community Ministry International Inc. (Kapa) is an independent religious corporation based in Bislig, Surigao del Norte, which has branched out to various areas in the Visayas, including Compostela, Cebu.

It is allegedly involved in unauthorized financial investment schemes that promise 30-percent monthly returns, prompting the region’s top police official to warn policemen not to engage with Kapa.

Dalena said they don’t want anyone to fall prey to investment scams, so they are strengthening their information drive.

She also encouraged the local government units to reach out to people in the barangays to caution them against these schemes. (WBS)


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