Tuesday, March 24, 2009

BSP Circular 649: E-Money/E-Wallet Regulation

A few months ago I received a draft of the proposed BSP Circular on the regualtion of e-Money and was released last March 9 with effectivity 15 days later

Circular 649 provided the regulatory framework over the fast-growing electronic money business in the Philippines to provide protection for consumers and to promote innovations in fund transfer mechanisms that benefit Filipino consumers. The Circular prescribed the minimum requirements for each Electronic Money Issuer (EMI) category to ensure that the risks inherent in e-money business are mitigated and that EMIs adhere to prescribed levels of safety, security and soundness. Provisions include the following:

a. EMIs shall put in place a system to maintain accurate and complete record of e-money transactions and other pertinent information

b. E-money shall only be redeemed at face value. It is not considered a deposit, hence, it is not insured with the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation;

c. E-money instruments shall be subject to aggregate monthly load limit of PhP100k

d. EMIs shall ensure compliance with applicable requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering laws, rules and regulations (e.g. (Know Your Customer, KYC and Suspicious Transaction Reports (STR))

e. EMI's should be stock corporation with capitalization of PhP100M

Circular 649 is for the protection of the public against fly-by-night e-money companies.

Complete text of BSP Circular Number 649 can be downloaded from BSP official website.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Credit Card Remittance Scam

Here's a warning to those people fond of making a few savings from sending money to the Philippines:

A modus operandi of scammers using stolen credit card information to send money to the Philippines and beyond:

How do the miscreants behind the credit card fraud do it? The scums do it by setting up entities claiming to be remittance service providers in connivance with unscrupulous individuals outside the Philippines. Their "foreign" partners send money to the Philippines by using stolen credit card numbers and information thereby defrauding unknowing cardholders.

The scheme is made complicated by doing fraudulent money transfers by agents in an initial recipient country like the Philippines, then send the money to another country where the final recipient is located, making the Philippines sort of a "trans-shipment point" of stolen funds.

In the process, the recipient can receive the money sent to him/her but at the expense of the credit card holder.

Lesson: In sending money to the Philippines, choose legitimate remittance companies and just fly-by-night ones. You might find yourself in the middle of an investigation if you're not careful.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Death of Francis Magalona after bout with Leukemia

I'm one of the first to learn of Francis M.'s departure when Maxene Magalona texted my officemate about it during lunch...Such a sad day for me for I'm a fan of Francis M. for his refreshing and nationalist songs.

at such a your age of 44, he succumbed to multiple organ failure due to leukemia. He will be interred at Christ the King Church in Quezon City...won't be able to be there at his wake though. for sure there'll be too many people to visit him there and pay last respect for a man with a such a "kaleidoscope world."

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Win Free Tickets to Eraserheads Live Concert "The Final Set"

If you're looking for free tickets without sweating it out, this post is not for you. However, with a bit of luck and speedy fingers you may be able to score free tickets to the upcoming Eraserheads concert dubbed "The Final Set"

here's how

1. Tune in to NU107 FM at 107.5 MHz. I just heard earlier today (while stuck in traffic) a guy won a pair tickets to the Eheads concert by calling the radio station the moment they announced the contest.

2. From Jam 88.3 (88.3 MHz on the FM band), you need to show up with the Coke Bench T-shirt at the concert ticketing office at 5pm. The first 500 people to arrive with the T-Shirt will win tickets

Good luck!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Case of Police Harassment, Illegal Arrest and Detention in Quezon City

I have a neighbor who I found out has been dealing drugs in the neighborhood. She's been living such a well off life even if she really doesn't have a visible source of income. It explains the reason why late at night I get awakened by noises of people knocking on our neighbor's door. She recently opened a 24 hour store as her front, in a small neighborhood that's not really enough to defray all her expenses relative to her way of living.

When I inquired from some "people in the neighborhood," I found out our neighbor is a drug pusher, a small time one, unlike the now famous case of Alabang Boys (a messy one with allegations of bribery between the DOJ and PDEA). The barangay officials know about her activities, even all the people living there but they seem to just ignore the sad fact as if it's normal and acceptable.

Not for me. I planned on reporting her anonymously to the PDEA's anonymous "whistleblower" hotline but someone did it ahead of me.

It was just this evening, on my arrival from Trinoma while parking my car, when I head the news of my neighbor's "arrest" by some "policemen" in plain clothes, sans search warrant or legal buy/bust operation. The "policemen" simply asked around for the name of their target, and dragged her out the house when they identified her. They even reportedly confiscated her cellphone and money reserved for tuition fees of her kids. They took her to the police station on Kamuning and reportedly asked for P80,000.00 in return for her release or prepare for inquest. This was later lowered to P30,000.00 and a new deadline of 9pm.

My thoughts on this as I told my neighbor's niece whom I know:

They have two choices: pay up or fight it out

Pay up: the policemen wins and walks away with the loot, my neighbor can resume her illegal activities and be harassed again by the same policemen in the future.

Fight it: I told my friend that the arrest is illegal and the police really doesn't have a case against her aunt. It's just another case of kotong where the victims are assumed to give the money "requested" from them. I reminded them that the suspect should be released within 48 hours or the policement face illegal detention. It's also the judge that sets the bail, if it's a bailable offense, not the policemen who're really trying to make money for the pusher. Note that no illegal drugs were found at the house, and even if there were, they won't stand as evidence in court due to the absence of a court order.

Apparently, my neighbors were trying to raise the sum, even attempted to borrow money from my mom but I don't know if they were able to raise the amount. They reportedly tried to sell their appliances just to pay the "ransom."

Some call it karma, others poetic justice...

I call it a bad person harassed by scalawags in the police who should follow legal means to clean our society of scums. I don't tolerate drug pushers but I also don't agree to the way of the kotong cops.

UPDATE: my neighbor's kin managed to put up the P30,000.00 "blood money" the following day and suspect was released by the police. Policemen now about P40k richer-- P30k cash "bail," plus the earlier cellphone and cash taken at the "crime scene."