SEC says proposed fee hike to have ‘very minimal’ impact on MSMEs

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said its proposed increase in fees will have a “very minimal” impact on micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

“It (the proposed hike in fees) is not exorbitant. We have to factor in inflation. The last time we increased [the fees] was many years ago…,” SEC Commissioner Javey Paul D. Francisco told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of the recent 49th Philippine Business Conference and Expo (PBC&E), organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

Under the proposal, Mr. Francisco said that MSMEs would be required to pay an additional P500, raising the registration fee for new stock corporations from the current P2,000.

“The impact of the fees on MSMEs is very minimal; 51% of stock corporations that register with us only have a capitalization of P1 million. So if you have authorized capital stock of P1 million, at present, you’re going to pay a P2,000 registration fee. With the proposed increase in fees, you will be paying P500 more, at P2,500,” Mr. Francisco said.

“We did not come up with this (proposal) arbitrarily, or just the top of our head. The proposal was made based on market studies and other research. ” he added.

The SEC previously said the current rates have not been tweaked since 2017 and were based on a 2014 proposal.

Mr. Francisco added that the proposed fee hike would be beneficial for the SEC, as the commission does not receive government funding to boost its services and staff.

“We don’t get any support or any subsidy from the national government, and we have to upgrade our skills and staff as well, and even improve the quality and quantity of our personnel.”

“When you register, that is technically good for life. Unless you increase your capital stock or you do not submit reports,” he added.

Various business groups, led by the PCCI, recently sent a letter to the SEC, criticizing the corporate regulator’s proposal to increase its fees and charges, and calling it “anti-business” and “unnecessary.”

The business groups opposed the “unreasonable, if not obscene, fees and charges,” such as the proposal to charge corporate issuers one-fourth of 1% of total indebtedness for creating bonded indebtedness.

The business groups also disagreed with the proposal to charge a fee based on the total transactions cleared and settled in the previous year by the Securities Clearing Corp. of the Philippines and the Philippine Depository & Trust Corp., at rates of 0.1 basis point (bp) and 0.05 bp, respectively.

Meanwhile, Mr. Francisco disclosed that the SEC is scheduled to meet with the concerned business groups in the second week of November to discuss the proposed fee increase.

Neil Banzuelo

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