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IN a bid to make business registrations easier and more convenient, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it would soon allow its online payment tool to accept registration fee payments to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The commission is eyeing to further enhance the online payment feature of its Electronic Simplified Processing of Application for Registration of Company (eSPARC) in the third quarter of this year to facilitate one-time payment of both SEC and BIR registration fees.

Launched in April last year, the eSPARC already allows online payment of SEC fees.

SEC Commissioner Javey Paul D. Francisco said during a recent Department of Finance (DOF) Executive Committee meeting that the SEC has already processed 25,685 online applications for business registrations since the start of the year until May 15. This brings the total number of applications processed through eSPARC to 69,350 since the digital tool was first launched in the second quarter of 2021.

The SEC and other DOF-attached agencies were ordered to fast-track digitalization programs to ensure continued delivery of services to the public even after the government ordered businesses to temporarily stop operations.

The fastest time recorded for processing an eSPARC application after the payment of the registration fee has been made was 74 seconds while the longest time was 157 minutes, according to SEC Chairman Emilio B. Aquino.

Applications of companies applying for registrations only require minimal online data encoding since most of the company information is already pre-filed under One-day Submission and E-registration of Companies (OneSEC), a subsystem of eSPARC.

In March last year, the SEC also launched its Electronic System for Payments to SEC (eSPAYSEC) to facilitate the payment of registration charges, penalties, and other transaction fees with the SEC online using debit and credit cards, digital wallets, and other cashless payment options.

Aside from this, the SEC also launched the Electronic Filing and Submission System (eFAST) which allows companies to submit the Audited Financial Statement, General Information Sheet, Sworn Statement for Foundations, General Form for Financial Statements, Special Form for Financial Statement, and other reportorial requirements.