SEC teams up with US counterpart, IOSCO and ADB to strengthen enforcement capacity

The SEC Philippines, led by Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino, hosted workshops in partnership with its US counterpart, the Asian Development Bank, and the International Organization of Securities Commissions to aid in improving the enforcement skills of the Commission.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Philippines is beefing up its enforcement capabilities by collaborating with international organizations to further its mandate of protecting the public from securities fraud and other forms of investment scams.

The SEC Philippines, in partnership with the U.S. SEC and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) hosted the conduct of an International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Workshop and Investigation and Enforcement Training Workshop at The SEC Headquarters in Makati City from August 14 to 17.

The workshop aimed to strengthen the capability of the SEC Philippines’ enforcement personnel in conducting investigations on securities-related crimes such as insider trading, market manipulation, off-market fraud, and crypto scams.

The SEC Philippines also facilitated the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU) Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information Public Workshop 2023 on August 18.

“Scammers are becoming more advanced and sophisticated in their techniques as new technologies arise. As such, the SEC must constantly improve its investigation and enforcement capabilities to ensure that we are always one step ahead in preventing scams,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.

“We are grateful for the U.S. SEC, ADB, and IOSCO for sharing their experiences and learnings with us and other law enforcement agencies in the Philippines, which will surely guide us as we pursue more programs and activities toward the protection of the investing public,” he added.

The Investigation and Enforcement Training Workshop is a joint workshop hosted by the SEC Philippines with the assistance of, and in partnership with, the U.S. SEC and ADB.

Mr. Paul Gumagay, Associate Director for Operations and Technical Assistance in the U.S. SEC Office of International Affairs (OIA), Mr. Tom Swiers, Branch Chief in the OIA, and Mr. Glenn Gordon, Associate Regional Director of the U.S. SEC Miami Regional Office shared their experiences and techniques in apprehending investment scammers and filing court cases against scammers.

The U.S. SEC representatives, together with a delegation from the SEC Philippines led by Mr. Aquino, also paid a courtesy visit to House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri to seek support in strengthening the Commission’s enforcement powers by crafting laws that comply with the standards set by the IOSCO in forwarding the interests of financial consumers and fostering international cooperation.

Established in 1983, IOSCO is recognized as the global standard setter for the securities sector, as it allows for international securities regulators to cooperate on capital market development and stability.

On August 18, the SEC Philippines, U.S. SEC, and ADB held the IOSCO MMoU Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information Public Workshop 2023.

The MMoU is a multilateral instrument established in 2002 that provides for crossborder cooperation among its signatories, particularly on information exchange, for the purpose of regulatory enforcement regarding the securities market.

Messrs. Gumagay and Swiers, and ADB Principal Financial Sector Specialist Ahmad Faris Rabidin led the workshop, where they discussed the discussed the implications, responsibilities, and benefits of tapping into the global network of the IOSCO, especially, on information sharing.