BIZ BUZZ: SEC working wonders
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might have taken a wishy washy approach when it comes to imposing the deadline of its amnesty program for delinquent corporate filings, but one cannot deny its present management has done plenty to drive up registrations over the past few years.
Thanks to a digital transformation program implemented in the midst of the pandemic, the corporate regulator managed to book a record high last year in terms of corporate registrations at 42,926, which was a 13-percent annual increase.
The SEC is highlighting these achievements just as it celebrates its 87th anniversary this year. More registrations, of course, do not guarantee compliance among all parts of the reasoning behind an ongoing amnesty offer for hundreds of thousands of corporations that have yet to file their required documents and financial reports.
The newest amnesty deadline, which has been moved several times by the Commission, is on Dec. 31 this year.
—Miguel R. Camus
Filipino travelers’ Japan craze
If your social media feed is overflowing with travel photos by friends and colleagues vacationing in Japan, it’s because 96 percent of Pinoy travelers believe that in the postpandemic world, it’s still good value for money to visit the Land of the Rising Sun.
One big reason is the weaker yen—with 1 yen just equivalent to just 37 centavos, eating out and shopping there is a delight—while another is affordable transportation. This is notwithstanding the 70-percent increase, starting October, in the price of the seven-day JR Pass ticket that allows foreigners to hop from one area to another using the Shinkansen bullet trains.
A recent survey by Asia’s leading travel platform provider Klook found that since the full reopening of its borders, Japan has become the top destination for travelers in Asia. In October alone, Philippine bookings to Japan surged by 228 percent from the start of the year. And this number is expected to further rise as Japan enters its first peak travel season since the pandemic, the platform said.
For Filipinos, 84 percent still think that traveling to Japan is worthwhile given that there are also other transportation options aside from the JR Pass, the Klook study showed. While alternatives like express trains and local buses are familiar among travelers, the Shinkansen (bullet train that operates at the highest rail speed) is most well-known.
The latest survey also showed that 44 percent of Filipino travelers say they are unsure or have no plans to purchase a JR pass for their next trip to Japan, while 44 percent find it confusing and difficult to navigate the transport system there.
The majority of travelers to Japan are adventurous, with 92 percent planning to go beyond the main cities to explore the off-the-beaten path. When choosing how to get around Japan, Pinoy travelers rank affordability, ease of ticket booking and redemption, as well as taking the scenic route among the most important considerations.