The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recognized champions of investor protection, capital market development, ease of doing business and good corporate governance, as it celebrated its 84th anniversary with a renewed commitment to enabling the Philippine corporate sector.
In a virtual anniversary celebration and recognition ceremony on November 20, the Commission presented awards to 92 individuals and organizations from the public and private sectors for their invaluable contributions in providing a secure and inclusive environment for the capital market and business sector.
The roster of awardees included the Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III as capital market development champion for steering vital reforms to further enable the growth of the capital market and the protection of investors.
The SEC likewise feted the Department of Budget and Management, under the leadership of Secretary Wendel E. Avisado, for supporting the Commission in the modernization and improvement of its services.
Other government agencies recognized included the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Office of the Solicitor General and Presidential Communications Operations Office.
The Commission also presented awards to the pioneer members of the SEC Campaign Network comprising the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, National Youth Commission, Clark Development Corporation, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Association of Certified Public Accountants in Public Practice, Philippine Investment Fund Association, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, and The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc.
Moreover, the SEC recognized content creators and celebrities who used their social media platforms to promote investor education and raise awareness of investment scams during the inaugural Investor Protection Week, which coincided with the 84th founding anniversary of the Commission.
“Despite this health and economic nightmare, we did just fine and
took the pandemic by the horns, but we could not have done all of these accomplishments without the help of our partners, who have forwarded our mission alongside the fulfilment of their own mandate,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino.
“As we move toward attaining our SuperVision 2025, the Commission remains committed to promoting the development of the Philippine capital market and business sector, and to protecting the investing public from predatory investment schemes and other abusive practices.”
In his message during the virtual ceremony, Mr. Dominguez commended the SEC for keeping its high standard of “responsive and reliable” service in overseeing the corporate sector and protecting investors despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Dominguez noted the important role of the Commission in growing and strengthening the Philippine economy, particularly through the development of the capital market.
“The Philippine capital market relies on the effectiveness, integrity, and credibility of the SEC,” Mr. Dominguez said.
“Without the SEC, our capital market will not be trustworthy. Investors will not be protected and fraud will run rampant. The SEC is indispensable to the growth and development of our capital market.”
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte also recognized the “significant gains” of the Commission in protecting the investing public’s hard-earned money from fraudulent schemes and its broad-scale investor education initiatives.
“May you all be inspired to provide more financial literacy, opportunities for our people that would in effect reinvigorate our financial and investment sector,” the President said. “Together with our partners in the private sector let us make further strides as we empower all Filipinos to lead more secure and meaningful lives.”
Senators Christopher Lawrence “Bong” T. Go and Ronald “Bato” M. Dela Rosa also expressed their support for the Commission’s investor protection campaign during the anniversary celebration and recognition ceremony that marked the culmination of the first-ever Investor Protection Week.
In its 84th year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) remained proactive and responsive in fulfilling its mandate despite the disruptions and challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in its operations.
Below are the highlights of the accomplishments of the Commission for the year, as presented during the SEC 84th Anniversary and Recognition Ceremony held last 20 November 2020.
Capital market development
As guardian of the capital market, the Commission pushed for and made possible the continued operation of the capital market by promptly accrediting the essential workforce of capital market institutions and participants and approving offsite trading protocols at the Philippine Stock Exchange.
To keep the market from free fall, the SEC pushed for and approved a three-stage circuit breaker mechanism and a revised static threshold for all securities. At the same time, the Commission adopted measures to ensure transparency in the market by adjusting certain disclosure requirements and procedures.
The SEC has likewise laid the groundwork for the much-needed support for the economy’s recovery.
Even before the implementation of community quarantines, the Commission relaxed the implementing rules and regulations for Real Estate Investment Trusts. It also put forward Social Bonds as funding source for COVID-19 response.
The SEC would later create the regulatory framework for the creation and operation the Corporate Debt Vehicle to provide for the liquidity needs of companies and avert a possible liquidity crisis, and simplify onboarding procedures for low risk accounts to enable more Filipinos to participate in the ownership of enterprises and other investment opportunities to meet their financial goals.
Amid the pandemic, companies continued to tap the capital markets for their funding needs, resulting in more initial public offerings compared to 2019. These include the biggest market debut in four years and the first REIT listing.
As of end-September, more than P286 billion worth of securities were registered with and approved by the SEC.
“We are taking every step to ensure that the Philippine capital market will come out stronger and even more resilient,” SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis B. Amatong said. “As such, it can better contribute to the promotion of financial inclusion and wealth democratization toward a secure, comfortable life for Filipinos.”
Ease of doing business
To ease the burden of corporations and help them cope with the impact of the pandemic, the SEC has provided regulatory relief measures.
For one, the Commission extended the deadlines for Annual Reports and/or Annual Financial Statements, General Information Sheet and other reportorial requirements, and allowed electronic, courier and other alternative modes of filing reportorial reports.
The SEC also continued to accept and process applications for the registration of corporations and partnerships, keeping its online Company Registration System open and putting up an Interim Platform for corporations with less than five incorporators.
As of September, the Commission has registered more than 16,000 corporations and partnerships, about the same number of applications processed before the pandemic.
Efforts to further improve the ease of doing business in the Philippines were uninterrupted.
Just before the implementation of stringent social distancing and quarantine measures, the SEC, in collaboration with the Anti-Red Tape Authority and the Department of Information and Communications Technology, launched the National Business One-Stop Shop (NBOSS) for the registration of One Person Corporations (OPCs).
The SEC also relaxed the requirements for company registration by allowing incorporators to authenticate articles of incorporation instead of having them notarized.
Moreover, the SEC issued guidelines on the amendment of corporate terms, conversion of corporations to either OPC or Ordinary Stock Corporation, and use of email and mobile phone to facilitate transactions with the Commission.
“As the gateway to doing business in the Philippines, the SEC is committed to maintaining a competitive and secure business environment by ensuring efficient and convenient company registration and regulatory compliance,” SEC Commissioner Javey Paul D. Francisco said.
Enforcement, corporate governance
As unscrupulous individuals and groups took advantage of the pandemic to prey upon others, the SEC intensified its enforcement actions against investment scams and illegal lending.
In its fight against investment scams, the SEC has flagged more than 100 groups, already almost double the number for the entire year of 2019. It also issued cease and desist orders, and revoked the registration of entities engaging in unauthorized investment-taking.
Meanwhile, the Commission continues to actively prosecute scammers before the courts. These include 32 individuals charged in seven cases with violations of the Securities Regulation Code, and in two cases for violations of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
The SEC also launched a webinar series primarily to educate investors and help them protect themselves from fraudulent schemes.
In its crackdown on illegal lending, the SEC has successfully obtained the conviction of 42 accused, including 20 foreign nationals, in four criminal cases for violation of the Lending Company Regulation Act.
The SEC continues to actively prosecute 152 individuals including 65 foreign nationals for false statements made in their application documents in violation of Lending Company Regulation Act, and for falsification of public documents.
To date, the SEC has revoked the registration of 2,081 lending companies for engaging in lending and financing activities without the necessary Certificate of Authority. In addition, it has issued cease and desist orders against the owners and operators of 58 unauthorized online lending applications.
The SEC also took steps to help borrowers cope with the impact of the pandemic by directing covered institutions to implement grace periods for all loans with principal and/or interest falling due within the Enhanced Community Quarantine Period.
In parallel to its enforcement actions, the SEC issued rules and guidelines promoting good corporate governance and investor rights by allowing meetings via remote communications, and by upholding the right of shareholders to put items on the agenda for regular and special stockholders’ meetings, vote on the sale of corporate assets and inspect corporate books, among others.
The SEC also reformed the governance and ownership structure of exchanges and other organized markets by requiring the appointment of more independent directors and sectoral representatives.
“Integral to the survival and recovery of the business sector from the pandemic is guarding it against abusive and predatory practices,” SEC Commissioner Kelvin Lester K. Lee said. “We will never allow the corporate vehicle to be misused to defraud the very same people that invest in and support their business.”
Aside from providing regulatory relief and implementing other measures to help its stakeholders cope with the pandemic, the SEC supported the fight against COVID-19 by contributing P2 billion and allowing employees to volunteer in the government’s mass testing program.
Despite having to defer its strategic projects to give way to the country’s COVID-19 response, the SEC maintained a culture of excellence.
The Commission successfully expanded the scope of its ISO Certification to cover all core services in its head office and across its extension offices in Baguio, Tarlac, Legazpi, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga, with zero nonconformity.
The SEC also received another good housekeeping mark from the Commission on Audit for the second consecutive year. The unqualified opinion rendered by the state auditor affirms the Commission’s commitment to honest, sound and prudent use of public resources to improve its operations for the benefit of the people it serves.
Meanwhile, as the primary regulator of the Credit Information Corporation (CIC), the SEC worked on making the administration of the country’s central credit registry more effective.
Major changes have been effected in the management of CIC to support its important role in making the financial system responsive to the needs of businesses as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CIC welcomed Atty. Ben Joshua A. Baltazar as president and chief executive officer. Atty. Baltazar’s fields of specialization include economic reform policy, credit information systems, and financial regulation. He had worked as special liaison between the SEC and CIC prior to his appointment in the latter.
“As we move forward and into the new normal, we will embark on more programs and initiatives – including a Commission-wide digital transformation – that will make our services more accessible, efficient and reliable, and allow the corporate sector and capital market to further flourish and support our economy’s growth,” SEC Commissioner Karlo S. Bello said.
List of awardees during the SEC’s 84th Anniversary and Recognition Ceremony
Capital Market Development Champion
Carlos G. Dominguez, Secretary, Department of Finance
Awardees for key accomplishments on Capital Market
- Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment with CEO Simon Culhane
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of the Philippines with Dr. Robert Ramos, CFA, CAIA, CIPM, president
- Capital Markets Integrity Corporation (CMIC) with Daisy P. Arce, president
- Securities Clearing Corporation of the Philippines (SCCP) with Renee D. Rubio, chief operating officer
- Philippine Depository and Trust Company (PDTC) with Ma. Theresa B. Ravalo, president and COO
- FINEX Academy with Ma. Victoria C. Españo, chairperson and CEO
Awardees for key accomplishments on Ease of Doing Business
- Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) with Gregorio B. Honasan II, secretary
- Social Security System (SSS) with Aurora Cruz Ignacio, president and CEO and Mario Sibucao, SVP
- Home Development Mutual Fund (PAG-Ibig Fund) with Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti, CEO; and Catherine Beltran and Mercedita S. Lusanta
- Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth)with Atty. Dante A. Gierran, CPA, president and CEO; and Jane Aragona and Rey R. Sulit
- National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) with Victorino Manalo, executive director
- Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) with Caesar R. Dulay, commissioner, and Ma. Teresita Angeles
- Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) with Atty. Jeremiah B. Belgica, director general
- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) with Benjamin E. Diokno, governor, and Lyn Javier
- Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) with Shirley G. Felix, vice president
- Insurance Commission (IC) with Ferdinand George A. Florendo, deputy Insurance Commissioner
- Board of Accountancy with Noel G. Quinanola, chairman
- Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) with Teofilo S. Pilando, Jr., chairman
- Auditing and Assurance Standards Council (AASC) with Leonardo D. Cuaresma, Jr., chairman
- Financial Reporting Standards Council (FRSC) with Josephine Adrienne A. Abarca
Awardees for key accomplishments on Corporate Governance
- Asian Development Bank (ADB) with Masatsugu Asakawa, president, and Kelly Hattel, Senior Financial Sector Specialist
- Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. with Allan Robert I. Sicat, Executive Director
- Asian Institute of Management (AIM) with Dr. Jikyeong Kang, PhD, President and CEO, and Dr. Dynah Avigail T. Basuil, Professor & Executive Director
- Global Reporting Initiative with Eric Hespenheide, Chairman, and Dr. Allinnettes Go Adigue, Manager for Public Policy and Corporate Relations in Southeast Asia
- Good Governance Advocates and Practitioners of the Philippines with Reginald H. Tiu, President
- Institute of Corporate Directors with Leonardo Jose M. Berba, CEO
- National Privacy Commission (NPC) with Raymund E. Liboro, Privacy Commissioner and Chairman
- BusinessWorld with Wilfredo G. Reyes, Editor-in-Chief, and Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter
- Philippine Information Agency (PIA) with Ramon L. Cualoping III, Director General
- Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) with Jose Ruperto Martin M. Andanar, Secretary
- Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) with Jose C. Calida, Solicitor General
- Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) with Atty. Samuel G. Dagpin, Jr., Chairman
- National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) with OIC Eric B. Distor
- Philippine National Police (PNP) with Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan, Police General Chief, PNP
- Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) with Atty. Mel Georgie B. Racela, Executive Director/AMLC Secretariat, and Alvin Bermido, Commitments and Policy Group
- National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) with Gamaliel A. Cordoba, Commissioner
Awardees for key accomplishments on Organizational Development
- Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) with Renato B. Padilla, General Manager
- DBPSC Security Service, Inc. with Joseph B. Imbao, Assistant Vice President
- LSERV Corporation with Generoso T. Canlas, Vice President
- Smart Communications, Inc. with Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, President and CEO, and Lea R. Amurao, Relationship Manager
- Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) with Atty. Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon-Chaves, Executive Director
- University of the Philippines Law Center, Institute of Government and Law Reform with Atty. Juan Paolo C. Agbayani, Junior Legal Associate
- Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) with Rolando L. Macasaet, President and General Manager
- Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) with Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr. MNSA, President and CEO
- Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) with Emmanuel G. Herbosa, President and CEO
- Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) with Cecilia C. Borromeo, President and CEO
- Department of Budget and Management (DBM) with Wendel E. Avisado, Secretary
- Career Executive Service Board (CESB) with Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala
CESBoard and CSC Chairperson
- Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) with Atty. Rowena Candice M. Ruiz, Executive Director
- Commission of Audit (COA) with Michael G. Aguinaldo, Chairperson
- Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) with Dr. Julius A. Lecciones, Executive Director, and Ma. Lourdes U. Concepcion, MD, Head, Pediatric Blood Center
- Philippine Association for Government Budget Administration, Inc. (PAGBA) with Zenaida B. Chang, President
- Association of Government Accountants of the Philippines (AGAP) with Tina Rose Marie L. Canda, President
- Government Financial Management Innovators Circle,Inc. (formerly Electronic Financial Users’ Circle Inc.) with Carmela S. Perez, President
- Association of Government Internal Auditors, Inc. (AGIA) with Hideliz Marie H. Laranang, MBA, President
- National Union of Career Executive Service Officers, Inc. (NUCESO) with Lynn Danao-Moreno, CESO II, National President
- TUV Rheinland Philippines Inc., with Tristan Arwen G. Loveres, Managing Director
- Jose Paulo M. Mungcal, Consultant for Quality Management System (QMS)
SEC Campaign Network Partners
- Integrated Bar of the Philippines
- Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA)
- Clark Development Corporation (CDC)
- National Youth Commission (NYC)
- Philippine Investment Fund Association (PIFA)
- Association of Certified Public Accountants in Public Practice (ACPAPP)
- Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
- Department of Education (DepEd)
- Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX)
- Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSEI)
- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)
SEC Investor Champions
- Thea Sy Bautista
- Macoy Dubs
- Jennylyn Mercado
- Andrea Brillantes
- Paolo Contis
- Bianca Umali
- Gina Alajar
- Manilyn Reynes
- Jean Garcia
- DJ Loonyo
- Slater Young and Kryz Uy
- Paul Jake and Kaye Abad-Castillo
- Erika Embang
- Cindy Obeñita
- Stephen Querubin aka DJ Juan Romantiko
- Jose Carretero
- Jasper Ian Cepria
- Jonathan Cimafranca
- Ara Casas-Tumuran
- Kailong TV Bangsamoro Blogger
- Karen Laurrie Mendoza
- Dora de Zamboanga