THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is extending the deadline for the submission of a new Manual on Corporate Governance for public companies and registered issuers until the end of next month.

In an Aug. 6 memorandum uploaded on its website, the SEC said the commission en banc had agreed to move the original July 12 deadline of the new manual to Sept. 30 in light of the coronavirus situation in the country.

Upon submission, the new manual must be signed by the company’s chairman of the board and compliance officer, otherwise it will not be considered filed.

Late or non-submission of the new manual may be fined P10,000 as basic penalty and P1,000 monthly penalty, which will accrue until the document is filed.

These rules apply only to public companies and registered issuers that are not publicly listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange. Publicly listed companies are guided by a different code of corporate governance.

To recall, the SEC issued a memorandum circular in December adopting a new Code of Corporate Governance for public companies and registered issuers. In line with this, it required the respective companies to submit a new Manual on Corporate Governance within six months, or by July 12.

The new code seeks to recommend 16 points for corporate governance, which tap into governance responsibilities, disclosure and transparency, internal control and risk management, relationships with shareholders, and duties to stakeholders.

Some of its recommendations are the submission of nonfinancial and sustainability report, and the disclosure of strategic and operational objectives alongside the sustainability initiatives that will support them.

The SEC said the code is in line with its goal of patterning the operations of local corporations with international standards. — Denise A. Valdez