SEC eyes new HQ site in Fort Boni ‘financial cluster’
MANILA, Philippines—The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to invest more than P1 billion to build its new headquarters in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, on a portion of a two-hectare property intended to be the site of a future government “financial cluster.”
“We’ll be joining other government agencies in the financial cluster in that area,” SEC chairperson Teresita Herbosa said in a press briefing last week.
She noted that this upcoming government corporate hub was a “nice” area, better than another lot earlier assigned by the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA). The property is near the upscale Dasmariñas Village and McKinley Road.
Another government source said the upcoming government financial cluster would occupy two hectares within BGC. Aside from the SEC’s, it would also be the site of the future headquarters of the Department of Finance, Bureau of Internal Revenue and BCDA itself.
Herbosa said the new SEC head office would likely be completed within three years. She is also hoping that the SEC could break ground for the new building in time for the SEC’s upcoming anniversary celebration on November 11.
The SEC chief said the government agency had already asked for a P1-billion allocation for the new building from the 2013 budget.
But at the time the national budget was being finalized, she said the item was stricken off because the Department of Budget and Management felt that its building plan was not yet complete since the SEC was then still in talks with the BCDA to finalize the details.
Herbosa said she would ask for the P1-billion budget for the agency’s 2014 appropriation. In addition to this, she said the SEC would raise funds from savings and retained earnings as well as from unused capital outlays for 2012.
The country’s corporate watchdog is currently headquartered in an old, cramped building with very limited parking space. Its existing office building, however, is strategically located at the corner of Edsa and Ortigas Avenue.
“We can use, sell or exchange it. It’s also government property. We just need to raise money for a (new) building,” she said. For instance, she said there may be other government agencies with a particular need for the existing building, such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police or Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
But because the final site for the financial cluster has been identified only recently, the SEC has yet to finalize how many levels the future headquarters will have.
“We don’t know yet the restrictions on this site,” she said.
The SEC will have to follow the floor area ratio—the ratio of total building floor area to the area of the plot—on the new site.
The SEC is the registrar of all types of corporations, stock or non-stock, including clubs, associations and foundations and partnerships. As of end-June, there were 771,228 corporations and partnerships registered in the Philippines, about 60 percent of which are active. There are about 385,998 active corporations and 83,965 active partnerships.
The SEC is also the agency with direct supervision over the capital markets and all their participants as provided under the Securities Regulation Code. Foremost of these are about 286 issuers of securities sold to the public. Under its direct supervision are 574 financing companies, 1,277 lending companies, 147 brokers and dealers, 16 investment houses and 52 mutual fund companies. The SEC also accredits third-party experts serving listed companies including credit rating agencies, appraisal companies, individual external auditors and 53 auditing firms.
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