SEC chairman Emilio Aquino

MANILA – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has collected PHP119.07 million in fees and penalties, or an average of PHP11.9 million per month from March 2021 to January of this year, through its web-based system that allows cashless payment of business registrations, fees, and other charges.  
 
SEC chairman Emilio Aquino said the fees and other charges collected through the  Commission’s Electronic System for Payments to SEC (eSPAYSEC) involved 16,898 transactions from the time the project was first implemented on March 1, 2021 up to Jan. 26, 2022.
 
Aquino said the eSPAYSEC allows the online payment of fees, penalties, and other charges using debit and credit cards, digital wallets, and other cashless payment options. 
 
Another SEC initiative under Aquino –the Electronic Filing and Submission Tool (eFAST)--that covers the online submission of the audited financial statement (AFS), general information sheet (GIS), and other reportorial requirements of businesses processed 169,323 enrollments from the time of its launching on March 15, 2021 up to Jan. 26, 2022, with a total of 185,127 reports submitted electronically. 
 
The SEC’s Electronic System for Processing and Registration of Companies (eSPARC), which makes it faster and convenient for corporations to register, processed 48,266 applications from April 11 last year to Jan. 26, 2022, Aquino said in his presentation to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III of the SEC’s accomplishments for 2021. 
 
Impressed with the SEC’s accomplishments, Dominguez congratulated Aquino and the rest of the SEC for making significant progress in the Commission’s programs to improve the ease of doing business through its digitalization, as well as for deepening the capital markets.
 
“I don't know in the past, but I don't think this has ever happened in SEC’s history that you have achieved so much in the ease of doing business, so, congratulations,” Dominguez told Aquino. “SEC has also contributed in a big way to improving the capital markets, and of course in catching fraudulent transactions.”  
 
Aquino said another digitalization initiative is the OneSEC tool, which ensures the one-day submission and electronic registration of companies. 
 
A subsystem of eSPARC, the OneSEC was able to register 3,288 new corporations from Sept. 15, 2021 to January 26 this year. 
 
The tool requires minimal encoding of data on the part of the registrants, as most of the company information is already pre-filled. 
 
Aquino said the OneSEC processing “is completely seamless and fully automated in the absence of human intervention on the part of the Commission starting from the name verification on the proposed corporate name, until the issuance of the digital copy of the Certificate of Incorporation.” 
 
The SEC check app, the Commission’s official mobile app that provides the public with on-the-go and latest SEC investor alerts, rules and regulations, and other updates, reported 2,705 installations on smartphones and other mobile devices, Aquino said. 
 
As for strengthening the SEC’s cybersecurity measures, Aquino said the Commission is now coordinating with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) –as instructed by Dominguez– for the inclusion of the SEC in the shared cyber defense strategy of the financial sector. 
 
“DBP and SEC will hold knowledge-sharing exercises on cybersecurity. And (DBP) President Manny  (Herbosa) will report the progress, as well as outcomes to you, Mr. Secretary,” Aquino told Dominguez. 
 
For the remainder of the Duterte administration, Aquino said the SEC will strive to achieve its goal of zero face-to-face transactions by fully shifting to online services as outlined in its digital transformation and technology modernization roadmap. 
 
Aquino said SEC will also ensure that financial technology (fintech) companies are properly regulated through the PhiliFintech Innovation Office and will also put in place measures to expand the access of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the capital markets. 
 
The SEC will also continue to push the congressional passage of the Capital Market Development Act (CMDA) to help increase the level of funded pensions and encourage the participation of institutional investors in the capital market; and the Financial Consumer Protection (FCP) Act to strengthen the SEC as a protector of consumers against investment scams, Aquino said. (PR)