The provincial Capitol of Bohol. (Leo Udtohan/Inquirer Visayas)

TAGBILARAN CITY––Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap has created a task force to help the victims of “repa” or the money-lending scam that victimized many people in the province.

Yap signed Sunday Executive Order No. 49, forming the “Task Force Heart of Justice” (KasingKasing sa Hustisya) to conduct a swift investigation, immediate case build-up, and urgent filing of criminal and civil cases against the perpetrators.

The governor said he received several complaints regarding the scam that promised plenty of returns of investments over a short period.

Yap said he directed the Provincial Legal Office to conduct seminars in different towns of the province to educate the people and avoid being victimized by illegal investment schemes.

Thousands of victims went to Bohol Wisdom School gymnasium starting Monday to avail themselves of free legal assistance from the provincial government.

“Repa” is a traditional Filipino practice of investing money in a firm that is not registered and regulated by government agencies.

It works based on trust and commitment among its participants, who are friends, neighbors, or co-workers, among others.

A group consists of at least three members who pool their contributions into a common fund and take turns receiving the lump-sum payout either weekly, twice a month, or monthly. The cycle continues until the last member gets paid.

The scheme has many “administrators” who usually…

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