SEC to allow online filings of reports soon

Published February 22, 2021, 6:00 AM

by James A. Loyola

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it will soon allow corporations and partnerships to file their audited financial statements (AFS), General Information Sheet (GIS) and other annual reports online.

In a statement, the Commission will allow filings in in digital format and remotely through a newly developed online submission tool (OST).

It has released for public comment the draft memorandum circular providing for the schedule and procedure for the online submission of annual reports.

The move is part of the SEC’s efforts to further limit face-to-face interactions during the pandemic, automate business transactions and promote sustainable business practices. 

The SEC will roll out the OST in time for this year’s filing season. Initially, corporations may use the OST to file their AFS, GIS, Sworn Statement for Foundation (SSF), General Form for Financial Statement (GFFS), and Special Form for Financial Statement (SFFS).

The OST will likewise accept submissions of Affidavit of Non-Operation (ANO), together their GIS or AFS, and Affidavit of Non-Holding of Annual Meeting (ANHAM), together with the GIS, during the initial implementation.

The SEC said its OST supports the Commission’s commitment to sustainable practices by minimizing its paper trail, reducing energy consumption, and promoting the role of corporations in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and AmBisyon Natin 2040.  

To use the OST, corporations, partnerships, and their authorized filers are required to enroll in the online submission facility by accomplishing the online application form and submitting the required documents.

The enrollment period will open tentatively on March 15, 2021. 

The SEC will require all stock corporations, including the branch offices, representative offices, regional headquarters and regional operating headquarters of foreign corporations, to submit their reports using the OST starting this year. 

Non-stock corporations, meanwhile, will still have the option to submit their reports over the counter this year. By 2022, the Commission will require all nonstock corporations to enroll in and submit their reports through the OST. 

Law, consultancy and other firms providing related services to corporations and partnerships may likewise enroll in the OST.