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Unqualified opinion from COA cheers SEC.

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) received an 'unqualified opinion' from the Commission on Audit (COA), as it upholds transparency, accountability and efficiency in the use of valuable taxpayers' money.

'In our opinion, the accompanying financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Securities and Exchange Commission as at December 31, 2018, and its financial performance, cash flows, changes in net assets/equity, comparison of budget and actual amounts for the year then ended, and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant policies in accordance with the Philippine Public Sector Accounting Standards,' State Auditor Concepcion C. Reyes noted in an independent auditor's report dated April 25.

The SEC said in a statement this is the latest unqualified opinion issued by COA to the commission since 2013, after a series of modified or qualified opinion from 2014 to 2017.

COA audited the commission's finances in accordance with the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs), developed by the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions for public-sector auditing.

Under the ISSAIs, auditors issue an unqualified or unmodified opinion when they conclude that financial statements, as a whole, are free from material misstatements, which could arise from either fraud or error.

'The commission takes pride in the unqualified opinion rendered by COA,' SEC Chairman Emilio B. Aquino, a CPA-lawyer, said. 'We take the results of the independent audit as testament to our transparent, sound and prudent financial management, as well as to our commitment to curtail graft and corruption.'

The SEC has consistently ranked among the sincerest institutions in fighting corruption, per surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations Inc. with support from the Integrity for Investments Initiative, funding from the United States Agency for International Development, and in partnership with the National Competitiveness Council and The Asia Foundation.

The commission has also emerged as one of the 10 best-performing national government agencies in semiannual surveys conducted by the Makati Business Club. Recently, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission recognized the SEC for the implementation of the Company Registration System, which minimized human intervention in the processing of applications and thereby reduces the opportunity for corruption.

The CRS allows for the automated and online preprocessing of corporations and partnerships, licensing of foreign corporations, amendments of the articles of incorporation and other corporate applications requiring SEC approval.

On December 28, 2018, the commission achieved ISO 9001:2015, the international standard for quality management systems, for the registration of partnerships and corporations doing business in the Philippines and for the licensing of capital market institutions and professionals.

'We will continue to improve our processes not only through technology and other innovations but also through high standards of integrity, professionalism and accountability,' said Aquino. 'Keeping the agency free from graft and corruption is high on our agenda for a greater and bolder SEC that could better serve as gateway to Philippine business,' added Aquino, who assumed the top post in June 2018 after rising through the ranks to become the commission's youngest director for prosecution and enforcement and, later on, commissioner.
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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jul 12, 2019
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