The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) welcomed Atty. McJill Bryant T. Fernandez as new commissioner, as Commissioner Ephyro Luis B. Amatong ended his eight years of service in the Commission.
“We are excited to work with Commissioner Fernandez, whose extensive experience in government service will surely help push forward the Commission in its mandate of enabling the corporate sector, deepening the capital market and protecting the investing public,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.
Atty. Fernandez previously served as the Deputy Executive Secretary for General Administration (DESGA) under the Office of the President. As DESGA, he assisted the Executive Secretary in articulating the policy directives of the President through Executive Orders and other ordinances, processing of applications for the establishment of special economic zones, evaluation of Special Authorities for executive agreements, foreign loans and grants, and in addressing policy, legal and administrative concerns of various agencies in the Executive department, as well as of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs).
He concurrently represented the Office of the President and the Executive Secretary in several interagency committees and oversight bodies, including the Development Budget Coordination Committee, the Fiscal Incentives Review Board, the Cabinet Cluster on Economic Development, and various Committees and Technical Committees of the National Economic Development Authority.
Atty. Fernandez likewise served on the governing boards of different GOCCs, including the Laguna Lake Development Authority, Development Academy of the Philippines, and the Philippine Center for Economic Development.
Prior to his role as DESGA, Atty. Fernandez worked at the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs under the Office of the President, and handled the review of government contracts, recommendations for executive clemency, and resolution of cases from agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions, as well as administrative disciplinary cases of presidential appointees and local chief executives.
Atty. Fernandez graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines – Manila with a Bachelor of Arts degree, major in Political Science. He studied law at Ateneo de Manila University and finished with second honors. He was admitted to the bar in April 2009, and began his practice at the Tolentino Corvera Macasaet and Reig Law Office, where he specialized in litigation, corporate, and labor law.
In the SEC, Atty. Fernandez will supervise the Corporate Governance and Finance Department, and Financial Management Department, previously under the supervision of Commissioners Kelvin Lester K. Lee and Karlo S. Bello, respectively.
Atty. Lee will take over Atty. Amatong in supervising the SEC Markets and Securities Regulation Department (MSRD). Atty. Bello, meanwhile, will serve as supervising commissioner of the SEC Economic Research and Training Department (ERTD).
Atty. Amatong ended his seven-year term on March 11, 2021 but continued to serve the Commission on a hold-over capacity until the appointment of Atty. Fernandez.
As supervising commissioner of the MSRD and ERTD, Atty. Amatong championed initiatives and reforms that transformed the Philippine capital market into an inclusive and accessible source of finance for businesses and investment platform for Filipinos.
Among others, Atty. Amatong played a key role in crafting the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Act, which aims to secure the Philippine financial system and support its recovery from the impact of the pandemic; the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Act, which paved the way for the domestic REIT market to take off; the Rules and Regulations Governing Crowdfunding, which recognize the financial innovation’s potential to broaden access to capital and investments; the Financial Consumer Protection Bill; and the 2015 Implementing Rules and Regulations of The Securities Regulation Code.
Atty. Amatong alsospearheaded the Commission’s efforts in mobilizing finance toward sustainable activities by introducing innovative financial products such as Green, Sustainability and Social Bonds, and equipping the domestic capital market in advancing sustainable development initiatives.
In a resolution, the Commission En Banc expressed “the deepest gratitude and highest appreciation of the [SEC] to Commissioner Amatong for championing the Commission’s mandate as the progressive registrar and overseer of the corporate sector, independent guardian of the capital market and champion of investor protection in the Philippines.”