THE covid-19 pandemic has indeed taken its toll in all sectors of our society—the business sector included. To help businesses cope, the Securities and Exchange Commission has created notable reforms and guidelines that will allow them to comply with our regulations easier and in a manner most convenient and practical for them.
In light of the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the whole of Luzon, the SEC has simplified the submission of annual reports and mandatory requirements for all registered corporations to make it possible to file their reports despite the travel restrictions and business suspensions imposed to counter the widespread of the new coronavirus disease.
All SEC-registered stock and non-stock corporations are required to submit annual reports such as the General Information Sheet (GIS) and Financial Statement (FS).
The SEC recognizes the specific challenges posed to Philippine companies in complying with certain reportorial requirements. These have kept the companies, particularly those with operations in affected territories here and abroad, from gathering all information or documents necessary in the preparation of their reports.
Corporations affected by the lockdown may now submit their GIS, which has to be submitted within thirty days after the corporation’s actual annual meeting, via electronic mail, registered mail, or courier.
Corporations whose fiscal year ends on December 31, 2019 are given an extension until June 30, 2020 to submit their Financial Statements. The corporations are also given the option to submit their FS via electronic mail, registered mail, or courier, subject to guidelines adopted by the SEC for such filings.
Corporations who will make use of the option to submit via email will still be required to submit physical versions of the same submitted documents to the SEC once the government’s enhanced community quarantine has been lifted.
Non-stock Corporations (or non-profit organizations) are also required to submit mandatory disclosure forms (MDF) to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The MDF is filled up online in the meantime, and the submission of notarized physical copies of the Declaration/ Verification page has been suspended.
The Commission also continues to accept online applications for the registration of Corporations and Partnerships through the Company Registration System for processing, subject to payment and issuance of certificates upon lifting of the ECQ here in Luzon.
The Commission will continue finding ways to limit the disruption in its everyday operations and to ensure that its stakeholders can cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stay safe, everyone. (Helen Veryan Valdez, BEO IO)