Company registrations to hit new record high

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) expects to hit another record high in company registrations this year.

This as the SEC already breached the 38,000 mark by end-October, which is close to last year’s record of 42,926. This is 13 percent higher than the 38,052 posted in 2021.

The SEC attributed this to easier registration procedures after it launched nine digital services for public use, which was cited by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) during the

2023 Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Convention held in Pasay on Dec. 1.

“We share in ARTA’s mission of streamlining processes in the government to improve public service delivery and achieve bureaucratic efficiency, embodied in our push toward a zero-contact policy in accordance with Republic Act No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business Act,” SEC chairperson Emilio Aquino said.

One of the SEC’s digital improvements is the Electronic Simplified Processing of Application for Registration of Companies (eSPARC), and its subsystem, the One Day Submission and Electronic Registration of Companies (OneSEC).

With eSPARC, the SEC was able to cut the registration process for companies to three days from more than a month.

The SEC has also launched the Electronic Filing and Submission Tool (eFAST), which facilitates the online submission of digital copies of reportorial requirements such as annual financial statements (AFS) and general information sheets (GIS).

With eFAST, the SEC has been able to shift the submission of AFS and GIS completely online in a span of two years. The number of AFS submitted via eFAST grew by 209 percent from 2021 to 2022, while GIS submissions through the platform jumped by 297 percent in the same period.

The SEC also made payments easier through the Electronic System for Payments to the SEC (eSPAYSEC), where the transacting public can now choose from over 90,000 online and offline payment options nationwide.

Aside from its digital transformation program, the SEC rolled out an amnesty program for noncompliant and suspended or revoked corporations, allowing corporations which have failed to faithfully comply with their reportorial requirements to clean their corporate records and start anew.

The ARTA also noted measures adopted by the SEC toward protecting minority investors, which served as a “Big Impact Indicator” and “Most Improved Indicator” of ease of doing business for the Philippines. The SEC’s programs helped lift the country’s ranking to the 95th spot in the World Bank report, 29 places up from the 124th place in 2019.

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