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Submission of notarized MDF suspended: SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has temporarily suspended the deadline of submission of the original notarized printed copy of Mandatory Disclosure Form (MDF) of non-profit organizations (NPO) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

SEC Davao Extension Office Officer-in-Charge Katrina Jamilla Ponco-Estares said the suspension “is to ensure that the health of both the clients and employees of the Commission is protected.”

She added the suspension of MDF submission is part of the proactive efforts of SEC in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and she hopes that this will provide reprieve to the NPOs during the pandemic.

She clarified that only the original notarized copy of MDF is suspended, NPOs can still submit their MDF online as partial fulfillment of the requirement.

NPOs may still “fill out and submit the MDF online during weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All concerned are urged to fill out and submit their MDF online to avoid the inconveniences of last day filing,” according to the notice issued by the Commission.

“Please be reminded, however, that the online filling out and submission of the MDF online is only partial compliance with the requirement. Full compliance requires the submission to the SEC of the original duly signed and notarized printed copy of the MDF,” it added.

Previously, the deadline of the submission was February 28 and was postponed to March 31 to provide leeway for NPOs who are operating in far-flung areas and give them the opportunity to not face the penalties due to non-compliance.

Ponco-Estares said, “NPOs must remember that the MDF is an important document that ensures their organizations are not used for unlawful purposes, especially money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Non-compliance may result in revocation of certificate of incorporation.”

The prerequisite is based on the SEC Memorandum Circular No. 25, Series of 2019 or the 2019 Guidelines for the Protection of SEC Registered Non-Profit Organizations from Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Abuse.

These efforts are done to ensure that the money raised by these NPOs are not for unlawful purposes such as the acts mentioned above.

SEC is requiring NPOs to promote transparency, adopt good governance policies, risk based supervision, strong financial management, robust internal and financial controls, and sustained outreach programs.

A copy of the notice issued by the Commission can be found at http://www.sec.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020NOTICE_MDF-SUSPENSION-OF-SUBMISSION.pdf

Ponco-Estares also encouraged companies to always monitor the announcements of the Commission on its website (www.sec.gov.ph) as the suspension may be lifted when the current situation becomes better.

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