SCEW president stands firm on clubâs legitimacy
SCEW Club national president Restituto Perez Jr. said that what the club is doing is for the welfare of the Filipino people and that they are authorized by their own Board, not by DTI.
Photo From Scew Club
SCEW president stands firm on club’s legitimacy
Joefel Ortega Banzon (The Freeman) - August 6, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — “We are not scammers. The number one scammer is the government. Please check kung saan napupunta ang binabayad nyong tax.”

Restituto Perez Jr., national president of the SCEW Club (Senior Citizen and Elderly Welfare Club of the Philippines), remains unfazed and stands firm on the legitimacy of the organization.

Perez told The Freeman that SCEW club is registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as a non-government organization.

“We are not selling a product as DTI has claimed. Our ID is for general membership and the proposed booklet is from our approved board resolution on establishing a tindahan at botica sa bayan. DTI has no business with us and we are not scammers,” Perez reiterated.

He added that what the club is doing is for the welfare of the Filipino people and that they are authorized by their own Board, not by DTI.

It was in June this year when the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued an advisory warning the public about SCEW Club, which is said to be using the name of DTI in selling discount booklets for P350.

In a report, DTI chief Ramon Lopez said the group used DTI’s name unofficially without the agency’s permission. He said this prompted the department to launch an investigation into the activities of SCEW Club.

It also urged the SEC to launch a probe into the SCEW Club.

This ensued after one of the members of the club bragged on social media about the senior citizen’s discount she got at a fast food restaurant just by presenting her SCEW card, even though she was not yet 60 years old.

DTI warned that the club’s IDs, which looks very similar to the legit Senior Citizen’s cards, and discount booklets are being sold online claiming that even individuals aged 40 to 59 may enjoy the benefits of the Senior Citizens as provided for in Republic Act 9994, otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

The Expanded Senior Citizens Act, however, clearly states that only those aged 60 years and above shall be entitled to the 20% senior citizens’ discount.

Perez however clarified that the SCEW Club identification cards issued to “junior citizen” members are not meant to be used as discount cards.

The Club president said that while SCEW advocates the provision of similar privileges for its younger members, the SCEW card only entitles its holders to livelihood, medical, and burial assistance.

SCEW Club, which now has 100,000 members, requires each member to pay a lifetime membership fee of P300.

“Wala kaming pera talaga. Ang amin ngayong umiikot, galing doon sa lifetime membership. Ibig sabihin, pag nag-member ka sa amin, meron kang lifetime membership na babayaran sa amin,” he said.

On the other hand, Director Jose P. Aquino of SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department said in a letter sent to The Freeman that their records showed that SCEW is indeed a registered corporation with SEC registration no. CN201951991.

The club was registered with the primary purpose “to initiate and promote a healthy and harmonious association developing the civic, spiritual, social and cultural awareness and consciousness, to the underprivileged, sick, elderly, junior citizens age of 40 to 59, senior citizens 60 years old, women and children.”

But SEC made it clear that such registration only grants SCEW to initiate what is stipulated in its registration but not to allow members to avail of Senior Citizen Discounts and Privileges, which may be a violation of the Senior Citizens Act.

Aquino said that the Commission will conduct further investigation into the matter particularly on the alleged activities that are beyond the purposes indicated in the club’s Articles of Incorporation. (FREEMAN)

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