In photo: Atty. Emilio Benito Aquino, CPA, Chairperson and CEO of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Photo collage by THEPHILBIZNEWS
By Alithea De Jesus
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has commended the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for keeping its high standard of “responsive and reliable” service in overseeing the corporate sector and protecting investors despite the limitations set by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dominguez noted that the SEC has made possible the continued operations of the stock and fixed income markets amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) protocols and migrated most of its processes online to continue serving the public.
“The SEC is indispensable to the growth and development of our capital market. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, I am happy to note that the Commission has been relentless in improving its operations and accessibility to investors,” Dominguez said in his pre-recorded video message during the SEC’s 84th founding anniversary celebration last week.
Dominguez said the SEC also extended the period for the filing of reportorial requirements for regulated entities, provided alternative modes of filing such requirements, and suspended the imposition of penalties during the pandemic.
The SEC also contributed to the government’s COVID-19 response measures by transferring P2 billion from its account to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr), as provided under Republic Act (RA) No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1), Dominguez said.
“I thank the SEC for continuing to be responsive and reliable during this difficult period for the nation. I am confident that you will do even better as you enter your 85th year of operations,” Dominguez told the men and women of the SEC led by its chairman, Emilio Aquino.
Aside from these laudable efforts, Dominguez said he expects the SEC to also continue warning the public about fraudulent investment schemes, as many scammers have now sprouted to take advantage of Filipinos in an attempt to steal their hard-earned money.
“Several of them even falsely associate themselves with government officials. Your continued advocacy of safe investment instruments will help us shield the public from these kinds of scams,” Dominguez said.
He said that with investors being among the most valuable resources in growing the economy, they should be assured that the SEC can be relied upon to ensure that their investments are safeguarded from fraud.
“The Philippine capital market relies on the effectiveness, integrity, and credibility of the SEC. Without the SEC, our capital market will not be trustworthy. Investors will not be protected. Fraud will run rampant,” Dominguez said.
The Department of Finance (DOF) has repeatedly warned the public about false information fraudulently using the name of Dominguez and other public personalities to promote a fake “cryptocurrency auto-trading platform called Bitcoin Revolution.”
The DOF has urged the public to report this and other similarly suspicious investment schemes to the SEC’s Enforcement and Investor Protection Department with telephone number (02) 8818-5704.
In his message congratulating the SEC, Dominguez also called on the regulatory body to harness the power of new digital technologies to continue to efficiently serve Filipinos, especially enterprises that will help the country rebuild a modern and competitive post-pandemic economy.
“The pandemic has dragged our economy through a tremendously challenging period. But we are confident that we will bounce back from this crisis through our strong fundamentals, fiscal stamina, and prudence. That recovery will come more quickly if our institutions of governance demonstrate efficiency, resiliency, and agility,” Dominguez said.