Statement of the Anti-Money Laundering Council:
Philippines gets upgrade for anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws
[Released on June 23, 2012]
The Philippines has taken significant steps to improve its laws against money laundering and terrorist financing with the passage this month by Congress of two key legislations certified as urgent by President Benigno S. Aquino III.
This assessment by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary Meeting in Rome spared the Philippines from a downgrade to the black list and in fact led to its upgrade from the dark gray list to the so-called compliance document or gray list. This was reported to the President last night by Anti-Money Laundering Council Chairman and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. A dark gray listing means a country is not making sufficient progress against money laundering and terrorist financing while being part of the so-called compliance document or gray list signifies that a jurisdiction is making sufficient progress in the global campaign against money launderers and terrorists.
Avoiding the FATF black list is positive news for the Philippines particularly for our overseas workers and our economy, as financial transactions of countries in the FATF black list are subjected to additional reporting requirements and more stringent inspections that delay remittances and raise service fees. In some cases, financial institutions stop transactions with countries in the FATF black list.
The FATF is the international organization that sets the standards and monitors implementation of measures for fighting money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to the integrity of the global financial system. In particular, the FATF said the Philippines took significant steps to improve its anti-money laundering/countering financing of terrorism system with the enactment this month of Republic Act no. 10167 which further strengthens our Anti-Money Laundering Law and Republic Act No. 10168 that criminalizes terrorism financing as a stand-alone offense. Together, these two laws address majority of the country’s outstanding action plan items.
Nevertheless, the FATF said certain strategic deficiencies remain in our anti-money laundering and anti-financial terrorism measures. In this connection, it advised the Philippines to enact the pending legislative amendments to our anti-money laundering law that, among others, extend the coverage of reporting entities, provide a broader definition of money laundering and increase the number of predicate crimes to include bribery, malversation of public funds, human trafficking, tax evasion and environmental crimes.
The Philippines will continue to contribute and support the global efforts against money laundering and terrorist financing in keeping with its commitment to good governance and upholding peace and order.