Q: Good morning, sir. How will you protect the government through SEC those abusive online lenders and investment scammers?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Well, we have to continue strengthening our capabilities when it comes to this. This is not a problem that is exclusive to the Philippines alone and that is some of the danger that people are starting to use AI, people are starting to use all the new very powerful tools that are available to be used on the social media or on the internet in general.
It is really an arms race. Every defense or every capability that we develop to block or to catch or to nullify this kind of transactions, of course they come up with new technology, they come up with new techniques.
And so, ganoon lang talaga. That’s the only way that we can do it. We just continue to be – we continue to monitor very closely and do all that we can. The SIM card registration I think was a big step and I think we are getting to the point where we have disposed of or taken out of the system many of the SIM cards that have not been registered because they have been used for illegal purposes and for these scams that we have been hearing about.
So, we just have to be very, very watchful and we have to be very, very careful and also be aware of the new technologies, of the new ways in which we can prevent these kinds of things. But it really comes down to the public.
My advice to the public is that when you get a message and there is a deal being presented and it sounds too good to be true, it is.
There is no such thing as 100 percent risk-free. There is no way to guarantee these enormous returns on what they are claiming, on the money that you put, that you give them.
If the public is aware and knows and is able to spot because of the way that these scams are presented, then that is the best defense that we have.
‘Pag nakita nga, sasabihin: “Hindi, kalokohan ito.” So, just archive it and just don’t open it even. Kasi baka makapasok na naman ‘yung mga malware, mga worm, you never know.
As I said, it’s basically an arms race. But our best defense is a knowledgeable consumer who can see for themselves and determine for themselves that those that are legitimate offers of, let’s say a promotional offer, as opposed to a scam.
Q: Yes, sir. Will you push for any sanction on this matter?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Do?
Q: Any sanction on this matter? Will you push?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: We have to… It’s not that easy to say – we talk about sanctions because mahirap na nga hanapin ‘yan.
The best that we can do – there are certain instances, especially when they’re very large scale, that we can find exactly where it’s coming from.
But again, it’s a very movable – it’s not – these are not offices, corporate offices in a big building. These are people sitting in somebody’s basement with a computer which they can just shut down, sell away, buy a new one, and keep going.
So, that’s the trouble that we are finding now. Of course, should anyone be found guilty of promoting such scams, then the full force of the law will come into play.
Q: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Thank you.
Q: Sir, magandang umaga po.
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Magandang umaga.
Q: Sir, are you happy with the version of Maharlika bill passed by our legislators? When will you sign it, sir?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: I will sign it as soon as I get it. Am I happy? Well, that is the version that the House and the Senate has passed, and we will certainly look into all of the changes that have been made. And I think most of the changes that were proposed and that were eventually adopted really had to do with the safety and the security of people’s pension funds. Doon nag-alala ang tao.
But let me – you know perhaps we are looking in the wrong direction. The key to the success of any fund, a hedge fund, pension fund, sovereign fund, investment fund is the management. Of course, all of these things can happen. We’ve seen them happen before because the management chose for it to happen. Itong mga eskandalo na nakikita natin sa ibang lugar.
On the other hand, we see examples of really successful funds and really the difference is the management. And that’s why we have made sure that it is not a government – it is independent from government.
One of the first changes that even I proposed to the House was to remove the president as part of the board, to remove the Central Bank chairman, to remove the Department of Finance because it has to operate as an independent fund, well managed professionally.
Iyan ang susi diyan. Kung talaga – kung mahina ang… Kung corrupt ang ilagay mo diyan, corrupt talaga ‘yan. Mawawala ‘yung pera. Kung mahusay ang ilalagay mo diyan, lalaki at lalaki ‘yan at magagamit natin ‘yung pondong ‘yan.
So, that’s where we are now. If the Maharlika Fund – if the bill comes before me, I will sign it. But the secret to its success is who do we put in management? What is their experience? What is their reputation? What is their success rate? And we have quite a few good money managers, financial managers there that we can call upon.
So, certainly I… Sometimes I’ve been watching the discussions that have been going on on the Maharlika Fund, and I say that’s all true, that’s all true. You must worry about that. But the only way to make sure that we do not get into trouble, the fund does not get into trouble is that it’s well and professionally managed.
And so, one of the elements that makes that happen is that there is a very clear independence from the day-to-day government function. Those decisions are not made by political decisions in government. The decisions made for the fund are made by finance professionals.
Q: Hi. Good morning, Mr. President. Sa isang bagong survey po ng PUBLiCUS Asia, lalo pang tumaas ang inyong approval rating from 60% to 62%, at maraming Pilipino rin ang lumalabas na naniniwalang nasa tamang direksyon ang bansa. Ano pong reaksyon niyo dito, sir?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Well, I’m glad. Mabuti naman at makita mo… Alam niyo hindi natin makakalimutan na ang talagang sigaw namin na kahit noong kampanya pa ay pagkakaisa.
Siguro itong ganitong klaseng mga resulta na nangyayari ay dahil nagkakaisa tayo. Nagkakaunawaan tayo.
For example, sinasabi na tama ang direksyon na tinutunguhan ng ekonomiya, na tinutunguhan ng Pilipinas ay ibig sabihin sabay-sabay tayong tutulong, and that’s really what we are talking about.
But, of course, still at the very heart of it, I have to thank all those who have continued to support not only myself but all of the different things that we have been trying to do to make life better for all Filipinos, to find ways to bring us into the forefront of the global economy.
Para naman kilala na ang Pilipinas na magandang magtrabaho dito, maganda mag-invest dito, maganda magnegosyo, magandang kausap ang gobyerno, magandang kausap ang mga private sector. Iyon ang ating habol para sa ekonomiya.
At the same time, we always have – we are government after all, and the social side of that is also very important. So, talagang pinipilit natin. But we can only afford a large social program if you have a robust business side that is also giving you returns.
So, it’s all connected. Not only for the mainstream but also for those who sometimes fall through the cracks. Disenfranchised kung tawagin. And that is – those are the old, the young, and the sick. Iyon kailangan talaga gobyerno ang gagawa niyan.
So, these are — I think that naintindihan, naunawaan ng tao ‘yan. At kahit na hindi pa natin nabubuo, nakikita naman siguro na lahat ng kaya ng gawin ng pamahalaan ay ginagawa para maabot natin ‘yang ganyang klaseng sitwasyon: magandang buhay, maraming trabaho.
At kahit na ‘yung mga naghihirap ay nakakatanggap – na kahit papaano nakakatanggap ng tulong sa pamahalaan.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Malacañang Press Corps.
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Maraming salamat. Thank you.
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SOURCE: PCO-PND (Presidential News Desk)