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SEC seeking P2.6B for digitalization push over next five years

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is proposing a P2.6-billion program over five years for its digitalization programs, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

SEC Chairman Emilio B. Aquino, in a report to the Department of Finance (DoF), said the commission has launched initiatives to digitalize its registration and filing processes.

It is planning more digitalization initiatives such as an external auditors accreditation registry system, an evaluation system, stress testing for capital market intermediaries, an e-Media hub, and a complaints management sys-tem.

“The SEC is seeking a budget of P2.6 billion over a five year-period from 2021 to 2025 to fully implement these digitalization initiatives,” the DoF said in a statement Thursday.

The SEC wants to use more technology for human resource management, online performance management, integrated learning, asset management, procurement monitoring, financial management, and records management systems, Mr. Aquino said.

The SEC also plans to create additional units to protect its systems from cyberattacks and data leaks.

These units include compliance examination and audit, cybersecurity and risk mitigation, cybercrime and forensics, and corporate communications and investor education.

The commission has been setting up online processes as mobility restrictions designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) limit in-person transactions.

Mr. Aquino in his report to the DoF said the commission has processed 26,875 business registrations online through its Electronic Simplified Processing of Application for Registration of Company.

In March, the commission launched its electronic payments and electronic filing and submission systems.

Meanwhile, the SEC has been planning to put up an office that encourages small- and medium-sized enterprises to embark on initial public offerings. It recently launched an office that supports financial technology (fintech) firms.

Government agencies plan to more closely supervise fintechs on taxation and regulation after their activities surged during the pandemic, the DoF said last month. The SEC plans to come up with fintech-specific requirements for licensing and data security. — Jenina P. Ibanez

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