FINANCE Secretary Benjamin Diokno urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to continue expanding the country’s capital market through digitalization to support economic growth.

Secretary Diokno gave the instruction on Monday (July 18) during the SEC’s flag raising ceremony.

“My marching order to you now is to make the Philippine capital market more broad-based and inclusive through digitalization and strengthened corporate governance,” said Secretary Diokno in a recorded video message.

The Secretary commended the SEC’s digital transformation initiatives, which the securities regulator accelerated at the height of the global health emergency. This allowed the market to continue functioning normally amid the difficulties posed by the pandemic, the Secretary said.

The SEC, for instance, developed the Electronic Simplified Processing of Application for Registration of Companies (eSPARC), and the One Day Submission and Electronic Registration of Companies (OneSEC), which are systems for faster and easier registration of corporations.

From its launch on April 11, 2021 to June 19, 2022, the eSPARC processed a total of 77,476 applications for company registration, 7,095 of which were processed in OneSEC.

Linked to the eSPARC and OneSEC is the Electronic System for Payments to the SEC (eSPAYSEC) that enables online payments of registrations and other transaction fees. Since its launching on March 1, 2021 up to June 19, 2022, the eSPAYSEC catered to a total of 31,027 transactions.

Meanwhile, the SEC’s Electronic Filing and Submission Tool (eFAST) was built for the submission of Audited Financial Statement, General Information Sheet, and other reportorial requirements. From the start of its operation on March 15, 2021 up to June 17, 2022, a total of 277,430 reports were accepted through the eFAST.

The said platforms are among a suite of online systems that make transaction with the SEC easier and faster.

Secretary Diokno likewise ordered the SEC to strengthen the newly-established PhiliFintech Innovation Office (PhiliFINNO) to ensure that financial technology (fintech) companies are properly regulated while encouraging their growth.

The PhiliFINNO was launched on July 30, 2021 to foster innovation and customize the fintech landscape in the country.

“I expect the SEC to fully harness the powers of new digital technologies to further improve monitoring; build trust and confidence of investors; protect the investing public; and better serve the nation,” said Secretary Diokno.

Accordingly, Secretary Diokno urged the agency to ensure the provision of safe and secure financial and investment instruments for Filipinos.

He ordered the SEC to be relentless in unmasking investment scams to protect investors and maintain trust in the country’s financial system.

“In the coming period, we expect an even more dynamic and feverish market activity. I trust that the Commission will be relentless in its efforts to ensure that capital markets drive our strong economic recovery and build a truly inclusive financial system for the Filipino people,” said Secretary Diokno.

Source: Mindanao Times (