SEC embarks on computerization upgrade
Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) - February 3, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Electronic incorporation of local firms, one-stop processing of registration numbers from various government agencies, and faster processing of applications will soon be offered by the country’s corporate regulator.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in the process of modernizing its IT infrastructure in line with facilitating the creation of businesses, its top official said.

“We are engaging in computerization and capacity building measures. We are already on the way to complete online registration,” said SEC chairperson Teresita J. Herbosa.

The computerization measures will allow the submission of incorporation papers, payment and approvals through the Internet, Herbosa said.

“Our assumption is that if the person applying for incorporation has a computer at home, he’d rather do it at home,” Herbosa said.

The Department of Budget and Management is already bidding out the contract for the full online service that is targeted to be launched this year.

To date, SEC transactions such as incorporation and amendments to the articles and by-laws of companies are conducted in person at the SEC headquarters in Ortigas.

Herbosa said the corporate regulator is also waiting for the Supreme Court’s rules on electronic notarization, which will allow incorporators and lawyers to sign and notarize registration forms electronically.

“The conservative ones view that we have to amend our Corporation Code for it. But our view is because of our electronic evidence law and other laws existing, I think there could be some arrangement where we can have electronic signatures and notarization,” Herbosa said.

SEC is also partnering with other government agencies to fasttrack the creation of new businesses.

Herbosa said SEC is looking to become a one-stop shop wherein companies can also secure a pre-generated Social Security System, Pag-IBIG Fund and PhilHealth registration numbers using the documents submitted by incorporators to the SEC.

The corporate regulator will sign a memorandum of agreement with various government agencies, Herbosa said. SEC already has a tie-up with the Bureau of Internal Revenue for newly-incorporated companies to automatically secure tax identification numbers.

In the World Bank and International Finance Corp.’s Doing Business Report 2014, the Philippines’ ranking jumped 30 notches last year to 108th from 138th in 2012.

However, the World Bank noted that the Philippines needs most improvement is in starting a business. There are currently 15 procedures in starting a business here, the highest in the Southeast Asian region.

Pending the launch of the full electronic application this year, the corporate watchdog has reported large patronage in its green lane that was implemented last year.

 

 

 

BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE CORPORATION CODE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT DOING BUSINESS REPORT HERBOSA IN THE WORLD BANK AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORP SEC SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM SOUTHEAST ASIAN
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