THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will now accept corporate filings with electronic signatures and are unnotarized sent through e-mail while Luzon is on lockdown.
In an effort to relax rules for corporations on limited operations due to the quarantine, the SEC issued Memorandum Circular No. 10 on March 20 as guide in submitting general information sheets, audited financial statements and all other forms and letters.
Documents that will be submitted must be in portable document format (PDF), preferably with text layer, and affixed with an electronic signature of appropriate representatives.
Files should be sent as attachments to an e-mail, sent using a valid company e-mail or the address of an authorized representative.
If the filing to be submitted normally requires notarization, the SEC said it will allow for now the submission of such files unnotarized. The company should expect, however, that the signatory in the filing is accountable to the document submitted.
Before submitting the files, the body of the e-mail must contain a statement from the company assuring the authenticity of the attachments to be sent. It must also commit to submit the same documents once business operations are back to normal.
Companies must request from the SEC a return receipt and a delivery status notification to confirm the successful delivery of the e-mail.
Once the state of public health emergency is lifted, the SEC will set a date for companies to submit notarized hard copies of the same documents submitted digitally.
“These guidelines are intended to facilitate compliance by all concerned corporations with laws, rules, regulations and applicable SEC memorandum circulars…during the period that the state of public health emergency is in effect,” the memorandum said.
Luzon has been put under enhanced community quarantine until April 13 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. — Denise A. Valdez