US: SEC enhancing digital initiatives in bid to boost regulatory compliance

As published on: euobserver.com, Monday 15 January, 2024.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is further streamlining requirements and processes for regulatory compliance as it strives to chart the Philippine corporate sector’s path toward a digital-first world.

The goal is to have a zero-touchpoint transaction environment powered by cloud, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity solutions and other new technologies, said SEC chairperson and CEO Emilio Aquino.

The move is part of efforts to make starting and doing business easier in the Philippines and thus create a more empowered business sector.

“Our focus on digital innovations is part of our vision of an empowered business sector, considered among the best in Southeast Asia, and we do so to help create more and better opportunities and help every Filipino achieve our shared vision of a strongly rooted, comfortable and secure life,” said Aquino, the chief architect of the SEC’s digital transformation.

The SEC recently integrated the submission of official contact details and beneficial ownership information in its Electronic Simplified Processing of Application for Registration of Company (eSPARC), and allowed for the automatic enrollment of new corporations in its Electronic Filing and Submission Tool (eFAST).

Full implementation of new advanced systems would help stakeholders access vital corporate data, the SEC said.

This is in addition to the simplified registration and reporting processes.

These efforts are part of Aquino’s vision to automate the SEC. He has fiercely advocated for digital transformation, anchoring the SEC’s medium-term strategic plan dubbed “SuperVision 2028” on digital transformation and innovation.

Hopefully, he said, this would help transform the Philippine business sector and capital market among the best in Southeast Asia.

“I knew where to start – digitally transform the SEC to make business formation and registration easier, to make raising capital more accessible, to make investors secure in contributing to the growth and success of corporations,” Aquino said.

Under a digital transformation and technology modernization roadmap, the SEC’s goal is to automate 26 key processes and create a harmonized and integrated database.

Amid the pandemic, the SEC accelerated its digital transformation, and managed to promptly shift its services online and implement a zero face-to-face transaction setup, with the launch of eSPARC and eFAST, along with the Electronic System for Payments to the SEC (eSPAYSEC).

Aquino also established new offices to ensure and promote the cybersecurity of internal and external stakeholders.

These include the SEC PhiliFintech Innovation Office to support the development of financial technology and other innovative businesses to promote financial inclusion while ensuring the protection of financial consumers in the Philippines.

Moving forward, the SEC will continue to improve its services, and at the same time empower the corporate sector to pursue digital transformation and innovations.

With the new initiatives, the SEC saw a new record high of more than 46,000 corporations successfully registering in 2023, surpassing the previous record of 42,936 in 2022.

Aquino’s leadership has also brought international recognition to the SEC for promoting innovation and sustainability.


SEC US Digital Initiatives

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