Hike in SEC fees, charges imminent

By Miguel R. Camus @miguelrcamusINQ

November 27, 2023 12:00:00

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will move forward with a planned hike in fees and charges after hashing out differences with top business groups, which had earlier opposed the increase because of the added burden it would impose on smaller enterprises.

SEC Commissioner Mcjill Bryant Fernandez said last week they held a “positive and productive” meeting with the business groups earlier this month to find a way forward.

“We will be coming up with a joint statement on the matter,” he said on the sidelines of the SEC and Philippine Stock Exchange’s 10th annual corporate governance forum.

“There will still be a revised schedule of fees and charges. I cannot say the timeline yet but the issuance of revised fees and charges is still in the pipeline,” he said.

Big business

Fernandez said their meeting was attended by principals of the country’s largest business groups.

The SEC released the revised schedule of fees and charges on Aug. 2 to solicit comments from stakeholders.

Then on Oct. 9, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, and other groups issued a joint statement opposing the increase.

The SEC said their last fee scheduled was updated in 2017, based on a 2014 proposal.

The proposal was also reviewed by “a dedicated committee, [which] was constituted to assess the current fees and charges in relation to operating costs, in order to ensure the sustainability of the Commission’s services and fulfillment of its legal mandate.”

Amnesty deal

Meanwhile, Fernandez reminded erring corporations to avail themselves of their extended amnesty program up to Dec. 31 this year.

The SEC’s amnesty program covers corporations that have incurred penalties for the late and nonfiling of their annual financial statements, general information sheets (GIS) and official contact details.

It earlier released a list of 22,403 corporations facing revocation of their incorporation papers for failing to submit their GIS within five years from the date of incorporation.

The Commission has also listed 298,335 corporations that have failed to submit their GIS for three times consecutively or intermittently within a five-year period. INQ