THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has tapped 18 institutional partners, which include fund managers and investment houses, to expand the reach of its financial literacy campaign that aims to encourage Filipinos to place their money in safe and secure investments while continuing to protect the public from fraudulent “get-rich-quick” schemes and other scams.

The SEC said its recent financial literacy campaign on social media has reached close to one million people, with over 240,000 views and clicks, and 43,000 engagements as of the last quarter of 2021.

SEC chairman and chief executive officer Emil Aquino said its 18-member campaign network includes its pioneer partners Philippine Stock Exchange Inc. (PSE), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (Ched), Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Clark Development Corp. (CDC), National Youth Commission (NYC), Philippine Investment Fund Association (PIFA), Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Picpa), Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (Finex), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) and the Association of Certified Public Accountants in Public Practice (ACPAPP).

Its network also has new partners that include the Fund Managers Association of the Philippines (FMAP), Good Governance Advocates and Practitioners of the Philippines (GGAPP), Investment House Association of the Philippines (IHAP), Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx), Philippine Finance Association (PFA), Philippine Medical Association (PMA) and Junior Financial Executives-PUP (JFINEX-PUP).

Aquino also said SEC will aim to list 888 companies in the capital markets for corporate financing or capital raising by the time the Commission celebrates its 88th anniversary in 2024.

The current number of publicly listed companies is 274, with another four waiting to be listed and three with pending applications this year.

Over the 2022-2024 period, Aquino said the SEC will access crowdfunding portals to target companies for listing, along with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), other large firms and companies with franchises, to achieve its goal of listing 888 firms over this three-year period.

Earlier, the SEC coordinated with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to ask the country’s Olympic medalists to serve as investor advocates or endorsers of its financial literacy campaign.

It signed up as investor champions Olympic medalists for boxing Eumir Marcial, Carlo Paalam and Nestshy Petecio, among others.

The SEC’s model of an “investor champion” is one saving for his or her future by making good rational investments, and influencing other people to take the same steps towards their financial health.

According to SEC, a pre-pandemic financial inclusion survey showed there were 54 million adults who were seen to be not participating in the capital markets.

Of this number, 66 percent said they do not have the excess income to invest in the capital markets, while 35 percent, or almost 20 million, said they would have participated but were dissuaded because of the perceived high costs, and are unaware of the investment opportunities available to them.

The other reasons given by the survey respondents were the perceived low return on investment and the lack of trust in investment providers.

The SEC has accelerated the implementation of its digitalization reforms under the Duterte administration to further improve the ease of doing business in the country and spur the growth of domestic enterprises through initiatives that allow companies to register, file their reportorial requirements and pay transaction fees online. (with PR)