Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Board Meetings by Video Conference Now Allowed

Teleconferencing and video-conferencing can now be used for board meetings according to the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week. Thus, company directors are no longer required to be physically present in board meetings. With teleconferencing and video-conferencing, the SEC said it will now be easier for companies to have a quorum for meetings since directors' physical presence is no longer be required.

The SEC, however, emphasized that the participation of directors in meeting through teleconferencing and video-conferencing may be deemed acceptable only when adequate safeguards have been accordingly set in place. SEC said that meetings should be recorded, and the appropriate videotapes and video discs properly stored for safekeeping.

The SEC ruling reversed an earlier one requiring physical presence of members of the board of directors for a valid meeting.The old ruling was maintained even as former Pres. Fidel V. Ramos once demonstrated the reliability of video conferenceing by holding a cabinet meeting while on a foreign trip abroad. With the new ruling, expats and their principals need not come to the Philippines to attend board meetings of their companies.

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