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SEC yet to implement fee hikes, awaits assessment

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THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said its proposed higher fees and charges have not yet been implemented as it is awaiting a third-party assessment.

“We just have the increased fines and penalties,” SEC Commissioner McJill Bryant T. Fernandez told reporters on the sidelines of a forum in Taguig City on April 29.

“We have not implemented the fees and charges yet,” he added.

SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said the commission had already sent a regulatory impact assessment of the proposal to the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).

“If it passes, we will implement whatever gets passed. That’s the agreement. We’re waiting for ARTA,” Mr. Aquino said.

“We referred it there. There’s still continuing conversations about it, but it’s not about us imposing. In fact, we’re listening. It should be both ways,” he added.

In August last year, the SEC released the proposed schedule of new fees and charges for stakeholders’ comments.

The regulator said the proposed hike aims to develop its digital services for the transacting public. The current rates have not been changed since 2017.

However, business groups led by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. opposed the proposal, describing it as “obscene” and “unconscionable.”

Among the SEC’s proposed changes is the charge of one-fourth of 1% of total indebtedness to corporate issuers when creating bonded indebtedness.

Meanwhile, Mr. Aquino reminded businesses to comply with the SEC’s reportorial requirements or face penalties.

“Businesses should comply with their submissions and reportorial requirements because they’re going to get hit by high penalties,” he said.

“We’re not happy penalizing them at all. There is an exercise of good corporate governance, submitting your financials, general information sheet to your regulators, complying with orders of the SEC,” he added.

In March, the SEC issued Memorandum Circular No. 6 that increased the fines and penalties for the late and non-filing of reportorial requirements by corporations.

The previous scale of fines was implemented in July 2002, prior to the increase. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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