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Express lane revived for SEC filings

Posted on August 22, 2011 10:12:40 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
BY FRANZ JONATHAN G. DE LA FUENTE

THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again made available express lanes for corporate registrations in a bid to hasten the approval process.

In a memorandum circular issued last week, the corporate regulator approved the implementation of the so-called “green lanes” that will have approvals ready in one to two days instead of three days under the regular lane.

Benito A. Cataran, SEC director for registration and monitoring, even went as far to say that the applications could be approved in just hours.

“The main goal is to expedite the process and cut red tape. With the Green Lanes, if you file your papers in the morning, you can expect your application to be approved sometime after lunch, granted all necessary documentation are complete and correct,” Mr. Cataran said in an interview yesterday.

Excluded from the use of Green Lanes, however, are corporations whose subscribed capital is not paid in cash, those that are more than 40% foreign-owned, and those with secondary SEC licenses according to the memorandum.

Corporations that fall under these criteria will still have to endure longer processing even if accompanied by complete and correct documents, said Mr. Cataran.

The SEC operated an express lane system in the late 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Cataran said. It was discontinued due to a reduction in personnel after the agency’s reorganization in 2000 which transferred the SEC’s quasi-judicial powers to regular courts.

Registering a business is one of the indicators the World Bank and the International Finance Corp. monitor for their annual country rankings based on the ease of government processes.

The Philippines ranked 148th out of 183 economies in the 2011 Doing Business Report. 
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