BAGUIO CITY – Local officials and organizers of the 20th edition of Panagbenga or the Baguio flower festival warned the public on the presence of members of a syndicate taking advantage of the influx of millions of visitors by circulating fake peso bills which affect the conduct of robust business in the city.
Freddie Alquiroz, co-chairman of the Panagbenga executive committee, said their establishment, Giligans Island along Legarda Road, was already victimized by the members of the syndicate circulating the fake peso bills where their employees were hoodwinked into believing that the 8 pieces of P1,000 bills paid to them for their services were original peso bills.
However, he said that when they tried to subject the doubtful peso bills to the ultra violet test, it turned out that the bills were fake which resulted to the significant loss of their operations.
“We must be vigilant on the pieces of peso bills being paid to the establishments as well as the bills being given by establishment employees to the customers because a syndicate circulating fake peso bills is now in the city taking advantage of the influx of visitors to pursue their unscrupulous endeavor,” Alquiroz stressed.
He said businessmen, particularly the over 200 stalls doing business at the Session Road in Bloom and the nearly 200 stalls in the market encounter along the Burnham Lake Drive, must take extra precautions against accepting fake peso bills because the syndicate circulating the fake bills are targeting their establishments considering the fast transition of people transacting business with them.
Mayor Mau5ricio G. Domogan also called on local residents and businessmen to be vigilant in accepting the payment by suspicious-looking individuals and the use of doubtful peso bills.
He suggested that if businessmen have doubts on the authenticity of the peso bills being paid to them by the public, they must advise them to wait for a moment and subject the bills to the necessary tests to ascertain their authenticity before accepting the same.
If the bills are found to be fake, the local chief executive advised local businessmen to immediately seek the assistance of law enforcers who are now visible around the city in order to effect the arrest of the enterprising individuals wanting to take advantage of the influx of people to the city to attend the remaining activities of this year’s flower festival which will close on Sunday.
According to him, the best thing to do to avoid being fooled by enterprising individuals circulating fake peso bills is to be always alert at all times in dealing with their clients and once having doubts on the bills being paid to them, find ways on how to ascertain their authenticity before accepting such peso bills.
Domogan also directed law enforcer to ensure maximum police visibility in the Session Road in Bloom along Session road and Baguio Blooms Exhibition and Expedition along the Burnham Lake Drive so that they could be immediately approached by businessmen who are being fooled by the fake peso bills circulated by the syndicate now operating in the city.
He reminded the public to familiarize themselves with the features of genuine and fake bills so that they could easily differentiate the ones being paid to them and prevent them from incurring huge losses in terms of income as a result of accepting fake bills. By Dexter A. See