BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The Securities and Exchange Commission in Bacolod City is urging its clients to use a courier service when processing their documents, as one precautionary measure against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Its information officer, Clyde Padilla, said SEC Bacolod closed its office Thursday and yesterday for disinfection purposes after a frontliner, who had tested positive for Covid-19, went to the adjacent Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Padilla said it is not yet confirmed if there were BIR clients, who came in contact with the Covid-19 patient, and later went to SEC to submit reports.
As a precaution, SEC Bacolod will no longer allow the one-day transaction of submitted documents, she said.
“All reports to be submitted must be put in our designated drop boxes and will be left untouched for four to five days. The virus stays on the surface of the paper for four to five days,” she said.
She added, “Clients submitting their reports should not worry as the date of filing will be the date when the reports were physically received at the office. And mailed reports are considered received on the date of the mailing.”
She also said that receiving copies are expected to have a turnaround period of four to five days since SEC Bacolod is on skeletal workforce because some of its personnel are on a work-from-home arrangement.
The release of the receiving copies of reports will prioritize clients who are pregnant, senior citizens, those living outside Bacolod, and persons with disabilities, she said.
She said they are asking their clients to be more patient and bear with the safety precautionary measures observed by the office, “This is not an ordinary time, the safety of everybody is our utmost concern,” she added.
“We strongly encourage our clients to send reports through the mail by a private courier or PhilPost, provided that a prepaid self-addressed envelope is secured by the client for the receiving copy,” she said.
She also said SEC Bacolod will strictly adhere to the minimum health standards.
Clients will be denied entry if they are not wearing a mask. Social distancing will be strictly implemented, and only three people will be allowed at a time, she said.
She also said clients are encouraged to fill out the health survey form honestly as this will be the basis for easy contact tracing if the need arises.*