SEC considers another deadline extension for amnesty program

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking at further extending the deadline for its amnesty program beyond Sept. 30. 

“I don’t want to preempt the en banc meeting this (Thursday) afternoon. But that is one big thing that we need to decide on. Presently, the sense of the commission is to consider an extension, but limited only,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said on the sidelines of a partnership signing event in Makati City on Thursday.

The SEC previously extended the amnesty program to Sept. 30 from the initial deadline of June 30. 

“The en banc should come up with a decision to extend, but not as long as it was. It might be one last extension, a much shorter one,” he added.

He opted not to disclose the timeframe of the possible extension.

According to Mr. Aquino, the mulled extension would help gather more data that could be used by the SEC for better analysis and monitoring.

“The request especially for the certified public accountants who certify the financial statements is to give them a little time, they are almost there,” Mr. Aquino said.“We want more submissions to come in. The more data and financial statements coming in, the better it gets for our analysis and universe of data,” he added.   

Launched in March, the SEC’s amnesty program offers a reprieve from the fines and penalties imposed on the late or nonfiling of companies’ general information sheet, annual financial statements, and noncompliance with Memorandum Circular No. 28, Series of 2020. 

Under the SEC’s amnesty program, noncompliant corporations only need to pay a P5,000 fine for their failure to submit any of their annual reports regardless of the number of years that they failed to do so.   

Meanwhile, the SEC said in a separate statement that it issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 14 on Sept. 21 which makes it optional for a securities registrant to provide mitigating factors in the risk factors section of its prospectus. 

The SEC previously issued MC No. 13 on Sept. 12 which clarified that registrants only need to disclose financial information for only two comparative periods for the last three fiscal years.

“The streamlined procedures are part of the commission’s efforts to encourage more companies to tap the capital markets for their business expansion needs,” Mr. Aquino said.

“The SEC will continue to find more ways to make the registration of securities and securing a license to sell such securities easier, which will also translate to more investment opportunities for the public,” he added.

Neil Banzuelo

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