Public advised not to invest in LOKAL.PLATE

Published November 29, 2020, 8:00 AM

by James A. Loyola

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an advisory warning the public that LOKAL.PLATE Corporation is not allowed to solicit investments because is has not secured prior registration or license to do so.

“Based on the information gathered by the Commission, a number of individuals or group of persons claiming to represent LOKAL.PLATE CORPORATION (known as Lokalplate in social media) headed by Brian James D. So are enticing the public to invest their money in said entity,” the SEC noted. 

“The public is advised NOT TO INVEST or STOP INVESTING in any investment scheme being offered by any individual or group of persons allegedly for or on behalf of LOKAL.PLATE CORPORATION and to exercise caution in dealing with any individuals or group of persons soliciting investments for and on behalf of it,” the Commission said in an advisory.

As posted online, LOKAL.PLATE is offering investments to the public under the guise of franchising where a “franchisee” invests P12,888 to earn P40,000 to P80,000 per month. 

Further, a franchisee only needs to share a link, which, when clicked by anyone who wants to order from the affiliated food service provider of Lokalplate, the franchisee earns 15 percent to 20 percent of the purchase price of the ordered food.

A franchisee who is able to recruit another prospect also earns a commission of P3,000.00 for every direct referral.

“Considering that the scheme involves the sale of securities to the public in the form of investment contracts, the Securities Regulation Code (SRC) requires that these securities be duly registered and that the concerned corporation and/or its agents have appropriate registration and/or license to sell such securities to the public pursuant to Section 8 and 28 of the SRC,” the SEC said. 

However, the SEC said its record shows that, although LOKAL.PLATE CORPORATION has been registered as a corporation last August 7, 2020, it is not authorized to solicit investments from the public since it has not secured prior registration and/or license from the Commission.

Also, Lokalplate’s primary purpose clause of its Articles of Incorporation does not include “franchising”.

Its primary purpose is “To engage in online selling of food, and promote, advertise such food products thru online. Provided that the corporation shall not solicit, accept or take investments/placements from the public neither shall it issue investment contracts.” 

The SEC also pointed out that, “those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents or claim to act as such for LOKAL.PLATE CORPORATION in selling or convincing people to invest in the investment scheme being offered by said entity including solicitations and recruitment through the internet may be prosecuted and held criminally liable.”

Under the SRC, these sellers or recruiters may be penalized with a maximum fine of P5 million or

21 years of imprisonment or both.

Also, those who invite or recruit others to join or invest in such venture or offer investment contracts or securities to the public may incur criminally liability, or otherwise be sanctioned or penalized accordingly as held by the Supreme Court in the case of Securities and Exchange Commission vs. Oudine Santos.

The SEC urged those with any information regarding the operation of the subject entity to call the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department at telephone numbers (02) 8818- 6047 or send your report to the EIPD at [email protected]