Company registrations with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hit a record high in 2022, emphasizing the success of the Commission’s digital transformation program in improving the ease of doing business in the Philippines.
The SEC recorded a total of 42,926 corporate registrations in 2022, 13% higher than the 38,052 seen in 2021. This marks a record high for the Commission’s 85year history as the country’s company registrar.
In 2021 alone, the total number of company registrations jumped by 67%, as the business sector gradually started to recover from the impacts of the pandemic in 2020.
The SEC attributes the robust activity in corporate registrations to the launch of its digital services since 2021, which have helped improve the process of putting up a business in the country.
“The digital transformation of the SEC was inspired by our vision for a company registration process that can be completed with ease and convenience, transactions that are safe and secure, and corporate data that are easily accessible,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.
“This vision is slowly becoming a reality, thanks to our stakeholders who have also adapted well and embraced digital transformation as part of their business strategies. The SEC will continue to develop its goals toward digitalization to further push the business sector toward its best.”
The SEC sees the rise in business formation supporting the government’s positive economic outlook.
“As more Filipinos realize their entrepreneurial aspirations through the corporate vehicle, we expect more and better employment opportunities for our countrymen across the archipelago, and ultimately a more comfortable and secure life for everyone,” Mr. Aquino said.
In 2021, the SEC launched the Electronic Simplified Processing of Application for Registration of Companies (eSPARC), and its subsystem, the One Day Submission and Electronic Registration of Companies (OneSEC).
With eSPARC, the SEC was able to reduce the company registration process from 16 steps in 34 days to three days. The process is even faster with the use OneSEC, with a record processing time of 1 minute and 14 seconds from the start of application to the receipt of a digital Certificate of Incorporation.
Prior to eSPARC, the SEC also launched the Electronic Filing and Submission Tool (eFAST), previously called the Online Submission Tool, allowing for the submission of digital copies of reportorial requirements such as Annual Financial Statements (AFS) and General Information Sheets (GIS). Two years since the launch of eFAST, submission of AFS and GIS have transitioned completely online.
The SEC also made payments easier through the Electronic System for Payments to the SEC (eSPAYSEC), where the transacting public can now choose from over 90,000 online and offline payment options nationwide.
In recognition of the Commission’s efforts toward digitalization, the International Data Corporation awarded Mr. Aquino as CEO of the Year for the Philippines in 2022.
In 2023, the SEC further deepened its digitalization efforts with five new advanced systems launched by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. himself during the Commission’s 85th Anniversary as corporate registrar in June.
The new services include the Electronic SEC Universal Registration Environment
(eSECURE), SEC CheckApp 2.0, Electronic SEC Education, Analysis, Research Computing Hub (eSEARCH), SEC API Marketplace, and the Electronic Registration Application for Market Participants (eRAMP).
eSECURE is a company’s passport to the online services of the SEC, allowing users to manage their SEC accounts and online transactions in one place, while ensuring safe and secure transactions.
The SEC Check App is the official mobile application of the Commission for public information dissemination and access to online and interactive services.
eSEARCH is the main eCommerce service channel of the Commission for the transacting public’s purchase and download of submitted documents to the SEC, while the SEC API Marketplace enables the SEC to provide company profile information, financial information, and other data to clients and stakeholders through application-to-application communication.
Lastly, eRAMP is an internet-based real time facility that allows capital market participants to manage their license with the SEC.