SEC flags Apollo Drugstore’s co-franchising plan

SEC flags Apollo Drugstore’s co-franchising plan

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning investors against Apollo Drugstore and Diagnostic Center, Inc.’s unlicensed co-franchising program.

In an advisory published on its website, the regulator said Apollo Drugstore is “enticing the public to invest their money in the said entity with the promise of high monetary rewards or profits.”

“Apollo Drugstore claims to be engaged in a drugstore business,” the SEC said.

The entity offers a “co-franchising program,” which is available for as low as P100,000 up to P5 million. Apollo Drugstore apparently guarantees a passive income of up to P12.8 million for five years.

While Apollo Drugstore is registered as a corporation under company registration number CS202009100, the regulator said Apollo Drugstore is not authorized to offer, sell, or partake in distributing investments or securities to the public.

“Such activities require a secondary license from the commission and the securities or investment product should likewise be registered with the SEC before they can be offered or sold to the public under Sections 8 and 12 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC),” the SEC said.

BusinessWorld contacted Apollo Drugstore via the phone number available on its Facebook page on Thursday. A representative from Apollo Drugstore said it had no comment regarding the matter and ended the call abruptly.

Apollo Drugstore also has yet to respond to BusinessWorld’s request for a statement via e-mail.

The SEC warns: “Those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers, or agents of Apollo Drugstore in selling or convincing people to invest in its investment schemes including solicitations or recruitment through the Internet may likewise be prosecuted and held criminally liable under Section 28 of the SRC and penalized with a maximum fine of P5 million or [a] maximum penalty of 21 years imprisonment or both pursuant to Section 73 of the SRC.” — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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