SEC speeds up digitalization programs

Published December 2, 2021, 1:16 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accelerated the implementation of its digitalization reforms to further improve the ease of doing business in the country and spur the growth of domestic enterprises.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, SEC Chairman Emilio Aquino said among the commission’s latest digital transformation initiatives is the Electronic Simplified Processing of Application for Registration of Company (eSPARC) launched last April.

According to Aquino, eSPARC has so far processed 26,875 applications of business registration online.

Aquino said the fastest time recorded for processing an eSPARC application after the payment of the registration fee has been made was one minute, 14 seconds, while the longest time was two hours and 37 minutes.

Even before the pandemic broke out early last year, Dominguez had already directed the SEC and other Department of Finance (DOF)-attached agencies to fast-track their respective digitalization programs.

Dominguez then reiterated last year this directive for DOF offices and its attached agencies and corporations on the digital switch to ensure the continued delivery of services to the public amid the pandemic and to prepare them for the transition to the new economy.

“I think you are going In the right direction, (SEC chairman) Emil (Aquino). I think what you have achieved these last couple of years is a transformation of SEC into a real digital space. Thank you. I think it’s excellent,” Dominguez said.

Aquino said eSPARC currently caters to the registration of domestic stock corporations with a minimum of one incorporator and a maximum of 15 incorporators, board of directors and stockholders.

The One-day Submission and E-registration of Companies (OneSEC) is a subsystem of eSPARC.

Since most of the company information are pre-filed under OneSEC, the application of companies applying for registrations require minimal encoding of data online.

“The OneSEC processing system is completely seamless. It’s fully automated in the absence of human intervention on the part of the Commission—starting from the name verification of the proposed corporate name until the issuance of the Digital Certificate of Incorporation,” he said.

Aquino said the SEC also launched last March its Electronic System for Payments to SEC (eSPAYSEC) to facilitate the payment of registration charges, penalties and other transaction fees with the SEC online using debit and credit cards, digital wallets and other cashless payment options.

The SEC also launched on March 15 the Electronic Filing and Submission System (eFAST) that allows companies to submit the Audited Financial Statement (AFS), General Information Sheet (GIS), Sworn Statement for Foundations (SSF), General Form for Financial Statements (GFFS), Special Form for Financial Statement (SFFS) and other reportorial requirements.