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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

PH told to plug gaps in dirty money control

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) asked the Philippine government to swiftly implement its action plan to address strategic deficiencies on anti-money laundering (AML) campaign and combatting the financing of terrorism (CFT).

The Philippines was added to the “grey list” in June 2021. Jurisdictions under this list are under increased monitoring by the watchdog.

FATF said that when a jurisdiction is under increased monitoring, it means the country “has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies” in its AML and CFT framework.

“The FATF urges the Philippines to swiftly implement its action plan to address the … strategic deficiencies as soon as possible as all deadlines expired in January 2023,” FATF said.

The international agency acknowledged in its latest report that since June 2021, the Philippines had taken steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime. The FATF, however, listed some areas where more should be done to address the country’s strategic deficiencies in those matters.

It recommended that the Philippines demonstrate that it was making use of AML and CFT controls “to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets”.

The Philippines missed the deadline to comply with the FATA requirements in January 2023. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said in June the country was given a one-year extension or until January 2024 to meet the financial standards needed to get off the risk list of the FATF.

The Office of the President earlier issued a memorandum circular emphasizing the urgent implementation of the country’s “National Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorism Financing and Counter-Proliferation Financing Strategy 2023-2027″.

The document was developed to help the Philippines to exit the FATF’s grey list by January 2024.

The BSP said the country should address eight measures to comply with the FATA requirements and be taken off the watchdog’s “grey list”.

Remolona, who is just six weeks into his new job as BSP chief for the next six years, said there are two important proposed legislation that they are supporting to help convince the Paris-based FATF to remove the Philippines from the grey list, and these are the bills Amending the Bank Secrecy Law and the Anti Financial Account Scamming Act (AFASA).

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