The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is giving P2 billion to the national government as aid in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement Tuesday, the corporate regulator said it is taking money from its accounts to transfer to the Bureau of the Treasury to increase the government’s COVID-19 funds.

“The SEC has answered the call and will continue to support the fight against COVID-19,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said in the statement.

The decision is in line with the Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which calls to redirect allotments for agencies under the Executive Department to operations and response measures addressing the COVID-19 emergency. 

“Aside from supporting other government agencies on the frontlines, we have worked on buttressing the corporate sector, capital market and investing public, which are crucial in the resilience of our economy and, more importantly, of the Filipino people,” Mr. Aquino said.

Over the past several weeks, the SEC has rolled out initiatives to help ease the burden on corporations affected by the outbreak and the Luzon-wide lockdown. Among these are the extended deadlines for regulatory filings and the permission to do electronic submissions via e-mail or the Philippine Stock Exchange’s digital portal.

The SEC is also accommodating online applications during the lockdown period and has so far processed at least 2,500 applications for company registration. 

It likewise maintains a close watch on investing scams that try to exploit the crisis, and has issued advisories against at least 14 groups since the public health emergency started.

It also sought relief for borrowers by asking financing and lending companies to implement a 30-day grace period for all loans.

“From its position — as overseer of the corporate sector, independent guardian of the capital market and champion of investor protection — the SEC recognizes and stands prepared to play its role in cushioning the impact of the pandemic and steering the economy toward recovery,” Mr. Aquino said. — Denise A. Valdez