Regulator makes it easier for companies to request extension of filing deadline

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THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is further easing its requirements for companies that are seeking an extension of the deadline for filing of 2019 annual reports and audited financial statements.

In a notice on its website, the corporate regulator said it is dispensing with previously announced rules that a sworn statement is needed to be allowed to submit annual reports and audited financial statements beyond the deadline.

“In light of the implementation of an enhanced community quarantine for the entire Luzon…, the commission en banc…resolved to dispense (its) requirements, both for publicly listed and non-publicly listed companies,” it said.

One of these requirements is the submission of a sworn certificate signed by the company’s president and treasurer to confirm that the company was significantly affected by the coronavirus outbreak, whether through business operations or the preparation of the financial statements.

Another requirement is the sworn certification by the company’s external auditor.

These requirements were laid out in Memorandum Circular No. 5 issued last week. It sought to extend the filing period of annual reports and audited financial statements to the end of June.

In a statement, the SEC said the adjustment of the rules seeks to give more time to companies to prepare and file their reports as the island of Luzon has been placed under enhanced community quarantine until April 13.

Companies that operate domestically may submit their filings until June 30. Those that have both domestic and foreign operations may submit filings until June 30 or 60 days from the date of lifting of travel restrictions, whichever comes later.

The adjusted rules and deadline applies to companies that have fiscal years ending Dec. 31, 2019 and Nov. 30, 2019. — Denise A. Valdez