THE Davao Event Suppliers Association (Desa) warns the public to be more cautious and to research more on wedding and events organizers they transact with as there had been about 30 couples who complained to Desa for being scammed by fake wedding organizers from June to present.

In an interview with Desa president Elinor Marcelino, she said most of the complaints she had been receiving are against non-Desa members, usually those who charge their clients very cheaply which are sometimes too good to be true.

“I always tell clients who come to me to complain to not be deceived by prices. Do not pay right away. You have to do thorough research first. When you plan a wedding, research your supplier. Is this legit? Do they have a license? They can call the hotel venues or the City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) for verification as well,” Marcelino said.

She added this time, when everyone has access to social media, anyone can post on social media and make it appear like the event was theirs to deceive other people and to make them look like a legit planner.

Recently, Ena Marie Oliveros and Michael Dizon, whose wedding is scheduled on December was deceived by a certain RB Miguel, who introduced himself as a wedding planner and organizer, and has stopped showing himself after the couple paid about P50,000 even though there was a contract signing that happened. After they discovered that they had been scammed, others who were also victimized by the same person also surfaced. Oliveros and Dizon had already filed a complaint against RB Miguel and said in 2016, he was already apprehended by the police but was released.

Marcelino called on the local government to be stricter in implementing existing ordinances in order to prevent similar instances from happening again. She added scammers are still very confident in doing wrong things as there are yet to be imprisoned or seriously apprehended because of deceiving people.

“These cases of events organizing scamming will really affect the events organizing industry in Davao City. If not given appropriate action, a lot will be discouraged in holding events in the city, especially now that the events organizing is quite a boom here now,” she said.

Marcelino went on to remind clients that about 90 percent of events organizing in the city are freelancers and only very few have business permits. She urged everyone to be very cautious and to be mindful of who they are interacting with to avoid getting deceived.