Philippines faces FATF sanctions
15 Sep 2020

The Philippines is in danger of being included anew in the gray list of Paris-based dirty money watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) if the country fails to pass the necessary amendments to the anti-money laundering law, according to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

AMLC Secretariat executive director Mel Georgie Racela said the Philippines needs to pass and implement further amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) to avoid inclusion in the gray list of the FATF-International Cooperation Review Group.

Proposed amendments to the law include the inclusion of tax crimes as predicate crimes to money laundering, as well as the inclusion of real estate developers and brokers who engage in buying and selling of real properties.

The changes also aim to further strengthen the AMLC by granting it subpoena and contempt powers.

“Failure to pass and to implement the amendments to the AMLA, as amended, before February 2021 will have similar effects – that is the Philippines’ inclusion in the FATF-ICRG gray list,” Racela said.

He pointed out the Philippines has four months left to pass and implement the proposed amendments to the AMLA.

The STAR earlier reported that the Philippines’ observation period has been extended to February 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The AMLC is required to submit a comprehensive report on the progress in implementing the recommended actions after a review in April.

The FATF will decide in June instead of February 2021 whether or not the Philippines will be included in the watchdog’s gray list.

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star, 14 September 2020

Read more at The Philippine Star

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