TRADE Secretary Ramon Lopez reiterated the government’s appeal to the public to invest their hard-earned money only in legal activities.
Lopez, during the open forum of the Entrepreneurs’ Summit on Thursday, June 13, 2019, said many are lured into the quick-money schemes because of greed, and only a cultural revolution can put a stop to people from falling prey to these financial scams.
Citing the controversy faced by Kapa-Community Ministry International Inc. (Kapa), Lopez said that what they’re doing is obviously an illegal activity with no proper documents to show.
He said for an entity to operate investment activities, it should seek permits from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or a bank, it should get the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ approval.
Lopez said the public should be cautious when they are offered high returns, and should question the entity’s mechanism on how it can sustainably fulfill its promise of big returns.
Kapa’s founder Pastor Joel Apolinario was already challenged by law enforcement agencies to “show the numbers” and prove how he can sustain delivery of the promised 30 percent monthly return for life.
For six years now, Kapa has been enticing its members to make a donation of P10,000 to P2 million.
Moreover, 12 more firms in Central Visayas are being monitored by police authorities for offering similar investment schemes like Kapa, Organico Agribusiness Ventures Corp. and Ada Farm Agriventures.
Police Regional Office 7 Director Debold Sinas, in a report, said they will conduct further assessment to validate the SEC’s report on additional unregistered investment entities operating in the region.
Be an entrepreneur
According to Lopez, growing money is never easy because one has to work hard for it and make smart decisions. He stressed that one shouldn’t rely on quick-money schemes as they are not sustainable.
Lopez said it takes a change in mindset and attitude for people not to be easily deceived by illegal money-making ventures.
One way is to get into business.
Lopez said there are various programs being implemented by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to boost the country’s community of entrepreneurs.
He mentioned that the agency has reached out to barangays to invite local officials to link with the DTI’s programs on entrepreneurship.
Lopez said they want to connect these micro businesses to the Negosyo Centers in their areas for them to enjoy programs such as business coaching and eventually loop their products to the mainstream market through trade fairs and expositions.
“There are no guarantees of success in business, but you can improve the probability to become a successful entrepreneur,” said Lopez.
He cited the need to differentiate products, use technology, innovation, financial literacy and management as among the many ways that entrepreneurs could become successful.
Ease of doing business
Moreover, with the Ease of Doing Business law being implemented, Lopez assured that opening a business is now easier.
“This (program) is a continuing improvement. We will not stop until we streamline further the steps, days and signatories involved to operate a business,” he said.
Lopez was one of the guest speakers during the Entrepreneurs’ Summit of the Cebu Business Month hosted by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.