The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shared its digital transformation story in front of its counterpart corporate registries abroad during the 2022 Corporate Registers Forum (CRF) Annual Conference, highlighting that the Commission’s digitalization efforts have supported the Philippine corporate sector, especially at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The SEC Philippines accelerated its digital transformation during the pandemic to efficiently address the demands of the new normal. Guided by its Digital Transformation and Technology Modernization Roadmap, the SEC Philippines turned the pandemic into an opportunity to modernize its policies and processes and to promote the use of technological innovations for more secure and easier transactions,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.
In a presentation, the Commission stressed that implementing digital transformation efforts will attract business formation:
“Launched in April 2021, eSPARC is a web-based system that streamlines the application process and allows for the online registration of one person corporations (OPCs) and both stock and nonstock domestic corporations with at least two but not more than 15 incorporators who may either be natural persons, partnerships, associations or corporations.”
The SEC is talking about Electronic Simplified Processing of Application for Registration of Company (eSPARC), which led to an increase in the number of newly registered domestic corporations and partnerships in 2021, rising by 50.5% and 33.4%, respectively, despite the pandemic.
“The eSPARC is a testament to the SEC Philippines’ agile approach to the vastly changing times,” SEC Commissioner Javey Paul D. Francisco told the audience. “At the onset of the pandemic, manual processing of registration applications halted. Our only options were to suspend our operations all together while our offices are closed, or to shift all our services online. The Commission remained driven and decided to stay in operations by allowing the transacting public to conduct all their registration transactions including payments online.”
The Commission also launched the One Day Submission and E-registration of Companies (OneSEC) under eSPARC, a subsystem that allows applicants to complete the registration process within one day, with the shortest processing time recorded at under two minutes; and the Electronic System for Payments to SEC (eSPAYSEC), an online payment that integrates eSPARC and the SEC Cashiering System where users can instantly pay registration fees.
The eSPARC system is also known for being linked to the Philippine Business Hub, the national government’s centralized platform that allows the public to access registration forms, fill out information, and submit requirements needed for business registration and related transactions.
“The shift to digital transactions was envisioned to make doing business easier than ever, as the SEC Philippines strives for a more empowered business sector considered among the best in Southeast Asia,” Aquino concluded.
According to the SEC, the digitalization of company registration in the country complemented legislative reforms aimed at making doing business in the Philippines easier. These include Republic Act No. 11232, or the Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines, which introduced the concept of OPCs, eased capital requirements, removed residency requirements for incorporators and directors, and allowed for the perpetual existence of corporations, among others.
It also stressed that with the introduction of eSPARC and other reforms, the registration process was streamlined from 16 steps spanning 34 days to six steps over eight days, on average.
The CRF Annual Conference was held in the Maldives from September 21 to 24, 2022, with representatives from 26 jurisdictions in attendance.
The CRF is an association of international corporate registries. Its membership currently includes government agencies from the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore.
Recently, the SEC has been actively issuing advisories against entities with malicious schemes, the latest of which is against Lodicoins’ Loditech. To read more about crypto-related SEC advisories, click here.
While last August, Aquino explained during a meeting with the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies that a law directly addressing digital assets is needed so that the Commission will be a more efficient regulator.
This article is published on BitPinas: LOUD AND PROUD: SEC Shares Digital Transition Journey to Global Counterpart
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