Who will succeed SEC Chair Herbosa?

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EMETERIO SD. PEREZ

The next chairman or chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), we hope, will come from within the organization. In that case, he or she will be chosen from the present five-person commission.

How about the resulting vacancy? Well, it is about time they considered promoting someone from among the SEC directors, someone who has been with the commission for decades but who does not have any kind of link with anyone in Malacañang.

This does not necessarily mean that the present members of the SEC’s five-person regulatory body are not efficient enough to serve the public. The suggestion is intended only for the President to appoint to the commission someone well versed in what the SEC is mandated to do under the law.

As the appointing power, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is supposed to know fully well what he is doing. And as such, he is capable of determining the qualifications of a good chairwoman or chairman, who should be able to lead the SEC in its task as a regulatory authority.


Why appoint someone from among the President’s circle when an SEC insider could easily qualify for the job? In other words, the President’s appointee must have the qualifications and experience necessary to be able to head the regulatory body efficiently, instead of just closeness or loyalty to the President but without understanding, for instance, the composition of a capital stock from authorized to subscribed and, finally, to paid-up capital.

Insiders’ edge
Due Diligencer is only making the suggestion but is not in a position to judge the performance of the present members of the SEC’s five-person regulatory body led by Chairperson Teresita Herbosa, who was appointed in 2011.

While SEC insiders are deemed more familiar with their fellow insiders, they are not wont to recommend who among them would qualify to become the next commissioner in case of a vacancy in the five-person commission.

Who is more efficient than the others? This is the question that could guide the SEC’s employees, if given the chance, in deciding who they would endorse to become their next chairman when Herbosa’s seven-year term ends this year. The only problem is – and it’s a major one – that they don’t have the power to endorse a nominee.

It is not for Due Diligencer to favor anyone for the chairmanship, or who among the SEC directors would best qualify for a long-delayed promotion to commissioner. Rather, qualifications should be the foremost consideration in the choice of a candidate for chairmanship and in naming an SEC director as one of the five commissioners.

(Note. I have been referring to the SEC’s regulatory body as a five-person commission because all their members are considered commissioners, with one of them designated as chairman or chairperson.)

Happy faces
When the Philippine Stock Exchange ended 2017 with the market’s main index – the PSEi – up at 8,558.42, viewers noticed the happy faces projected on the screens of their television sets. These “happy faces” sent the usual message that the stock market performed well in 2017.

If those happy faces belonged to the stockbrokers or their workers, they had every reason to be jubilant about. They could be rejoicing for a well-deserved vacation after a year of profitability.

If 2017 proved to be a good year for stockbrokers, how about their clients? Did the public investors make as much money, if not more than the middlemen?

On the other hand, SEC officials could enlighten us on the profiles of the public investors, who, after all, were responsible for enabling family-owned businesses to have their shares listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Without the public, there would be no PSE to speak of. Similarly, there would be no stock market without the very rich owners of the listed companies.

With the increase to 20 percent from 10 percent of the outstanding capital stock required by the SEC as the minimum public ownership, why can’t this percentage be translated into memberships to the boards of listed companies? Just asking.

esdperez@gmail.com

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