FINANCE Secretary Benjamin Diokno has urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to continue expanding the country’s capital market through digitalization to support economic growth.
Secretary Diokno gave the instruction Monday, July 18 during the SEC flag-raising ceremony.
“My marching order for you now is to make the Philippine capital market broader and more inclusive through digitalization and strengthening corporate governance,” Secretary Diokno said in a recorded video message.
The secretary praised the SEC’s digital transformation initiatives, which the securities regulator accelerated at the height of the global health emergency. This allowed the market to continue to function normally despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic, the secretary said.
The SEC, for example, has developed Electronic Simplified Processing of Company Registration Applications (eSPARC) and One-Day Submission and Electronic Company Registration (OneSEC), which are systems to register faster and companies more easily.
Since its launch on April 11, 2021 through June 19, 2022, eSPARC has processed a total of 77,476 business registration applications, of which 7,095 were processed in OneSEC.
Linked to eSPARC and OneSEC is the Electronic Payments System for the SEC (eSPAYSEC) which allows online payment of registrations and other transaction fees. From its launch on March 1, 2021 through June 19, 2022, eSPAYSEC processed a total of 31,027 transactions.
Meanwhile, the SEC’s Electronic Filing and Submission Tool (eFAST) was designed for the submission of audited financial statements, general information sheets, and other reporting requirements. From the start of its operation on March 15, 2021 until June 17, 2022, a total of 277,430 declarations have been accepted via eFAST.
Said platforms are part of a suite of online systems that make dealing with the SEC easier and faster.
Secretary Diokno also directed the SEC to strengthen the new PhiliFintech Innovation Office (PhiliFINNO) to ensure financial technology (fintech) companies are properly regulated while encouraging their growth.
The PhiliFINNO was launched on July 30, 2021 to foster innovation and personalize the fintech landscape in the country.
“I expect the SEC to fully harness the powers of new digital technologies to further enhance oversight; enhance investor confidence; protect the investing public; and better serve the nation,” Secretary Diokno said.
Accordingly, Secretary Diokno urged the agency to ensure the provision of safe and secure financial and investment instruments to Filipinos.
He ordered the SEC to be relentless in exposing investment scams to protect investors and maintain confidence in the country’s financial system.
“In the coming period, we expect even more dynamic and feverish market activity. I am confident that the Commission will not relent in its efforts to ensure that capital markets drive our strong economic recovery and build a truly inclusive financial system for the Filipino people,” said Secretary Diokno.