House wants SEC to regulate NGOs

By Jess Diaz, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 21 2015 09:18 AM | Updated as of Mar 21 2015 05:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives wants the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate non-government organizations (NGOs) in the wake of the involvement of some of these groups in the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam.

The committee on appropriations chaired by Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab has endorsed Bill 4449, which seeks to empower the SEC not only to register, but to monitor, regulate and if necessary, investigate NGOs as well.

Ungab said clarifying the power of the SEC over NGOs would hopefully prevent these organizations from engaging in illegal or fraudulent activities.

Laguna Rep. Joaquin Chipeco Jr., principal author of Bill 4449, said the pork barrel scam has brought to the fore widespread abuses and malpractices committed by some NGOs.

“While the 1987 Constitution has laudably enshrined people’s organizations (POs), cooperatives and NGOs as the fleshing-out of the people power legacy of the Filipino nation, it was not long before a number of these organizations were corrupted by predatory individuals in collusion with certain self-serving politicians,” he said.

“Registered as non-stock, non-profit organizations, these fraudulent organizations have put honest-to-goodness foundations and NGOs into disrepute,” he said.

He pointed out that people wondered what the SEC has done to stop these NGOs from stealing public funds and if the commission had the power to do so.

“The SEC excuses itself from responsibility by claiming that there is no law that specifically mandates it to regulate, monitor and investigate foundations, NGOs and other POs,” he added.

Chipeco said his bill addresses such deficiency.

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