By: Seala Marie Asis, CPA

The SEC released on February 19, 2020 the update of the newly developed Online Submission Tool (OST) to be used for filing of financial statements and reports in digital format to automate business transactions and promote sustainable business practices. 

This online platform will be rolled out in this year’s filing season where corporations  can file their AFS, GIS, Sworn Statement for Foundation (SSF), General Form for Financial Statements (GFFS), and Special Form for Financial Statements (SFFS). Accordingly, the OST will accept on its initial implementation stage the submission of Affidavit of Non-Operatin (ANO), together with their GIS or AFS, and affidavit of Non-Holding of Annual Meeting (ANHAM), together with the GIS.

This online platform operationalizes Section 180 of the Revised Corporation Code mandating the SEC to develop and implement an electronic filing and monitoring system and in consistency with the RA 11032 requiring government agencies to adopt a zero-contact policy. The OST also supports the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Ambisyon Natin 2040 by reducing paper and energy consumption as a role of corporations. 

The enrollment to and use of OST are required for stock corporations, including the branch offices, representative offices, regional headquarters and regional operating headquarters of foreign corporations starting 2021. Non-stock corporations on the other hand will be required to file via OST in 2022, allowing non-stock corporations to submit reports over the counter in 2021. Law, consultancy and other firms may likewise enroll in the OST. 

Enrollment period for OST tentatively opens on March 15 with requirements as follows:

  1. Online application form for OST;
  2. Board resolution authorizing representatives to file reports on behalf of corporations or partnerships;
  3. Special Power of Attorney from authorized filer/ representative to file reports for and on behalf of the corporation or partnership; and, 
  4. Copy of submitted email addresses and cellular phone numbers or accomplished GIS in 2020 version as required by SEC MC No. 28-2020.

Upon enrollment the guidelines in filing through OST shall be as follows: 

  1. E-mail, mail or courier and drop box submission of the hard copy reports shall no longer be required;
  2. OST specifies the format of reports (e.g. high resolution scan of signed and notarized document in multipage PDF);
  3. Document should pass SEC review for quality assurance; 
  4. Final acceptance of the reports will be evidenced by a QR code; and, 
  5. Over the counter submission through extension offices outside NCR will only be accepted in case of encountered problems provided that the filer presents an OST generated notice.

Once the OST goes live, the SEC will no longer accept the submission made through email, mail or courier and drop boxes will no longer be made available.

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