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Delayed by Covid-19: Solon commends BOC over re-export of Sokor waste

April 24, 2020

VILLANUEVA, Misamis Oriental--Second district Rep. Juliette T. Uy yesterday commended the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Finance (DOF) for not forgeting the re-exportation of Verde Soko waste delayed by Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). In a statement, Rep. Uy said: On behalf of the residents of Misamis Oriental, I thank Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero and the Department of Finance for not forgetting the 2,500 MT (metric tons) of Verde Soko waste still to be sent back to South Korea but was delayed because of COVID-19." In a DoF news release, retired general Guerrero was reported to have identified 2,500 MT of waste which still need to be re-bagged. “The re-exportation took some time because the wastes have been exposed to natural elements of heat and rain, which made it difficult to re-bag and stuff inside the containers,” Guerrero said in his report to Dominguez, according to the news release issued on April 22. "Rest assured that the Bureau will undertake all the necessary means, within the bounds of law, in order to expedite the re-exportation of these wastes,” Guerrero told Dominguez, the news release said further. On one hand, Rep Uy said: "We (in Misamis Oriental) will continue to work with the Bureau of Customs to bring this Verde Soko to its proper conclusion and work toward closure through the prosecution of all persons and organizations involved." "It is also our hope that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ) here and in Manila will not relent in their continuing investigation and prosecution of the cases against those charged and those still at large." (MRS)

New COVID-19 positive patient admitted in Cagayan de Oro

April 17, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Another patient was diagnosed positive with the COVID-19 virus Friday, bringing to a total of two COVID-19 positive patients currently confined in the state-owned hospital here. The Department of Health (DOH) made the disclosure during a press conference about COVID-19 update in this premier port capital of Northern Mindanao. Dr. Jose Chan, medical director, of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), the only government referral hospital involving infectious diseases in the region, said that the patient was admitted to the hospital on April 9, 2020. He said that the patient, a 68-year-old male, came from Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur, who has an exposure with his son who have a travel history in Manila. Chan said the patient is in stable condition, but doctors are closely monitoring because the patient sometimes complained of difficulty in breathing. The admission of suspected COVID-19 patients considered as Persons Under Investigation (PUI) at the NMMC has declined for the past weeks, leaving a total of only six patients.

CDO, Misor on a stalemate in quarantine measures at boundaries

April 16, 2020

  Just this morning, the City Health Office of Cagayan de Oro has stopped issuing certificates fit to travel to persons needing to enter Misamis Oriental. The City Health Office stated that under the COVID-19 Task Force guidelines, company IDs for people working at Phividec and other essential businesses in Misamis Oriental are enough requirements to be presented at Tagoloan and Opol checkpoints. Also included are all authorized persons outside residence as indicated by the IATF.   After learning of this new development, Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano said he stands by his earlier decision to require travel passes from CDO residents entering Misamis Oriental as issued by the City Health Office.   But later in the interview, Emano said that if the situation worsens, he will evaluate the matter and may order the Provincial Health Office to issue such health pass to affected persons. The Provincial Health Office is based at the Capitol compound in Cagayan de Oro City. .

Bukidnon governor denies violating guidelines on ECQ, to answer DILG show cause order

April 16, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Provincial Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri of Bukidnon on Thursday denied that he has violated the guidelines set by the national Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) on the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Zubiri was one of the two Philippine provincial governor's who was ordered by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to "show cause" on why he could not be held administratively for  alleged violation of the ECQ guidelines issued by the national government. Zubiri denied that he has violated any of the provisions of the national ECQ guidelines issued by the national government, but is willing to face the consequence for  implemenleting rules that ensure the safety and well-being of the people of Bujidnon. Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano, said that the local executives have violated the guideline on mass gathering, social distancing and prohibiting of the operation of industries vital to the food security of the country. Ano said that the local executives would face administrative and criminal charges if found violating the quarantine directives of the IATF for the management of emerging infectious diseases. Zubiri received the DILG show cause order on Wednesday.

SEC warns public vs 5 bogus investment groups

April 9, 2020

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued advisories against five more groups soliciting investments from the public without the necessary licenses.   In separate advisories dated April 7, the Commission warned the public against investing in Cryptec, CryptoPeso, V2R Trades, Lao Razon Trading and/or Lao Razon Marketing and Sakto Online Advertising.   Cryptec is a non-licensed offshore cryptocurrency broker, which started operations in September 2019 using the domain. It is operated by Point Place, Ltd. In the Commonwealth of Dominica.   Cryptec offers different trading accounts promising a 50% to 150% trading bonus along with a 1:10 to 1:40 leverage. One may open a trading account with an investment ranging from $250 to more than $500,000.   Cryptec uses the leverage system as an investment strategy by retaining a portion of the investor’s money as securities and using it for other businesses or ventures.   As an additional tactic, Cryptec’s account managers will frequently and persistently converse with investors online in order to solicit bigger amounts in exchange for higher returns.   CryptoPeso, on the other hand, solicits investments online in the guise of a mobile token wallet and payment application. It is operated by Blockxperts, Inc. of Larrimar Espiritu Tia, who also serves as chief innovative officer of Indigen, the corporation that introduces the unilevel marketing program in the CyptoPeso application.    This year, the new version of the CryptoPeso mobile application was launched with the PHPc Staking Program, which requires an investment of at least P2,000 from members plus a P500 activation fee.   The amount invested will be converted into CryptoPeso, or PHPc, which will be staked and locked in for three to 24 months. The profit would depend on the amount invested and the lock-in period selected by the investor. For instance, a minimum investment of P2,500 could supposedly earn P15,000 after three months.   In addition, CryptoPeso offers affiliates commissions for every recruit who registers and invests using the referral link under its Unilevel Marketing Program.   V2R Trades likewise solicits investments online. It offers compensation packages worth P5,700 to P285,000 and promises a 33% monthly return. An investor may receive P50 to P5,000 daily rewards, 10% referral rewards, as well as 7% to 10% match rewards.   Lao Razon Trading and/or Lao Razon Marketing operates a similar scheme. The group headed by John Luis Razon as president and headquartered in Dumaguete promises a 30% to 500% compounding income within a one- to six-month period for an initial investment of P500 to P5 million.   Under its Hybrid Booster Program Promotions, Lao Razon Trading also allows members to supposedly earn as much as P28,000 by purchasing products worth P2,000 at the minimum. In addition, it guarantees a 5% direct referral and a 1% interest referral commission bonus.   Under its Hybrid Booster Multiplier Incentives, meanwhile, Lao Razon Trading promises rewards such as laptops, motorcycles, sedan cars, SUV vehicles, sports cars, and houses and lots.   On the other hand, Sakto Online Advertising entices the public to buy packages of “Sakto Amazing Detergent Powder” worth P198 to P13,986 and resell them or simply recruit members to make profits. The group was founded by a certain Rosulo Vigilia Cabusora, Jr. in Satiago City, Isabela.   Based on the Commission’s records, Cryptec, Point Place, CryptoPeso, Blockxperts, Indigen, V2R Trades, Lao Razon Trading and/or Lao Razon Marketing and Sakto Online Advertising have not secured the necessary licenses to solicit investments from the public, as required by Republic Act No. 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code.   Those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of fraudulent investment schemes may be held criminally liable and penalized with a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both under the Securities Regulation Code.   In addition, Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, penalizes those participating in cyber incidents that make use or take advantage of the current crisis to prey on the public through scams, phishing, fraudulent emails, or other similar acts with two-month imprisonment or a maximum fine of P1 million or both.   The public is advised to report any unauthorized investment solicitation activities to the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) through email at (PR)

SEC chips in P2 billion to help fight Covid-19

April 7, 2020

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is lending more support to national efforts to combat the 2019 Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. In its most recent initiative, the Commission transferred a total of P2 billion from its accounts to the Bureau of the Treasury to augment the government’s war chest in tackling COVID-19. The SEC made the contribution in accordance with Section 4(v) of Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, and the directive of the Department of Finance. The Commission has been proactively responding to the public health emergency that later escalated into a national emergency, in line with the President’s directives and the provisions of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. Among others, the SEC has extended regulatory relief to corporations and other entities under its supervision by moving statutory deadlines and easing requirements and procedures. The Commission has likewise sustained the delivery of services to its stakeholders, including enforcement efforts against unscrupulous members of the corporate sector. “A pandemic that has brought the world to a standstill, disrupted businesses and livelihoods, and caused the loss of lives calls for a collective response from all sectors,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said. “The SEC has moved into position for the country’s fight against COVID-19. Aside from supporting other government agencies on the frontlines, we have worked on buttressing the corporate sector, capital market and investing public, which are crucial in the resilience of our economy and, more importantly, of the Filipino people.” Online frontline services To minimize the disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in the corporate sector, the SEC immediately adopted alternative work arrangements in its offices across the country. The SEC also activated a helpdesk manned by designated employees from every department or office and scaled up its information, education and communication program with the help of traditional and new media to attend to the concerns of its stakeholders. Moreover, a dedicated webpage was created for announcements and issuances to help the transacting public navigate through changes prompted by the pandemic in the Commission’s operations. Accordingly, the SEC has managed to continue accepting and processing applications for company registration online through its Company Registration System (CRS), as well as for amendments, company monitoring and verification of registration status, among others. The Commission has processed at least 2,500 applications for company registration and monitored 2,894 corporations since shifting to a work-from-home arrangement, a move in line with Section 4(t) of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. The SEC also continued to process pending applications for renewal of the accreditation of external auditors and auditing firms. On April 6, it started accepting applications for the centralized accreditation of external auditors and auditing firms for entities under its supervision and those regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Insurance Commission. Extended deadlines, electronic filing To ease the burden of its covered institutions during the quarantine, the Commission extended the deadline of submission for certain reportorial requirements and provided for alternative modes of filing them. For one, affected corporations with purely domestic operations now have until June 30 to file their annual report and/or audited financial statements for 2019. Those with foreign operations may submit the requirement until 30 June 2020 or 60 days from the lifting of travel restrictions, whichever comes later. The SEC also extended the deadline for the submission of the Mandatory Disclosure Form (MDF) to 30 April 2020 or 15 days from the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine. The deadline was previously set for 31 March 2020. Corporations may submit other reports such as the General Information Sheet (GIS) through email. Such reports may be accomplished without notarization and using electronic signatures in the meantime. Meanwhile, reports filed by publicly listed companies through the Philippine Stock Exchange’s Electronic Disclosure Generation Technology will count as submissions to the SEC. Heightened investor, consumer protection In parallel, the Commission remained to be proactive in championing investor protection, watchful of individuals and groups that may take advantage of the situation to prey on investors and consumers. The SEC has flagged at least 14 groups engaged in unauthorized investment-taking activities and other fraudulent activities since the declaration of a public health emergency upon confirmation of local transmission of COVID-19 in early March. The Commission’s enforcement efforts received additional boost from the provision of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act against cyber incidents that make use or take advantage of the current crisis to prey on the public through scams, phishing, fraudulent emails, or other similar acts. Under Section 6 of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, those participating in such online activities face the punishment of imprisonment for two months or a maximum fine of P1 million or both. In the capital market, the SEC put in place mechanisms to ensure the continued operation of trading platforms and to promote transparency and full disclosure. Among others, it required publicly listed companies to apprise the public of the pandemic’s impact on their operations and the risk-mitigation actions they have undertaken. The SEC also adopted measures to promote good corporate governance in the interest of investors. It issued guidelines allowing for the attendance and participation of directors/trustees and stockholders/members in regular and special meetings through remote communication. In parallel, the Commission has championed borrowers by calling on financing and lending companies to adopt debt relief measures. Upon the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations of Sec 4(aa) of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, it directed financing and lending companies, and microfinance NGOs to implement a 30-day grace period for all loans with principal and/or interest due within the enhanced community quarantine. “The SEC has answered the call and will continue to support the fight against COVID-19,” Mr. Aquino said. “From its position – as overseer of the corporate sector, independent guardian of the capital market and champion of investor protection – the SEC recognizes and stands prepared to play its role in cushioning the impact of the pandemic and steering the economy toward recovery.” (PR)


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