Legal Updates for February 2021

SEC Issues Beneficial Ownership Transparency Guidelines

Beginning 27 January 2021, all nominee directors/trustees, nominee shareholders, incorporators/applicants for incorporation, and all concerned corporations subject to the supervision and jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) shall comply with the guidelines provided in Memorandum Circular No. 1, series of 2021 to prevent the misuse of corporations for illicit activities through measures designed to promote transparency of beneficial ownership. For purposes of these guidelines, a beneficial owner is defined as natural person/s who ultimately owns, controls, or exercises ultimate effective control over the corporation.

Congress Authorized the President to Expedite the Processing and Issuance of Permits, Licenses, and Certifications

On 23 December 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11517 known as An Act Authorizing the President to Expedite the Processing and Issuance of National and Local Permits, Licenses and Certifications in Times of National Emergency (“RA No. 11517”). RA No. 11517 covers all agencies of the executive branch, government instrumentalities, government-owned and controlled corporations, and local government units.

Revised Rules and Regulations for the Issuance of Employment Permits to Foreign Nationals

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) released the new guidelines for the issuance of Alien Employment Permit (“AEP”) and related certifications on 6 January 2021 through Department Order No. 221-21 (“Revised AEP Rules”).

The Revised AEP Rules provide for new guidelines for filing dates, processing time, permit fees, penalties, documentary requirements, and employers’ duties, among others. The AEP is one of the permits that must be secured by foreign nationals to legally work in the Philippines. This Update discusses the key changes in the application for AEP.