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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Philippines to comply with programs to restrict laundering activities

FATF includes Philippines among countries under increased monitoring

MANILA - The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has included the Philippines under “increased monitoring” in its latest pronouncement made recently.

“Jurisdiction under increased monitoring are actively working with the FATC to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing,” the FATF said in a statement. The country’s inclusion in the list means the Philippines has committed to resolve swiftly the already identified strategic deficiencies within the agreed timeframes and will be subjected to increased monitoring.

“This list is often externally referred to as the ‘grey list,’” the statement added.

Countries that have strategic deficiencies in countering money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing as there are other countries have not been reviewed by the Task Force but will be subjected to the same assessment in the near future.

The FATF said the Philippines this morning made a “high-level political commitment” to work with the FATF and its Asia Pacific Group to further strengthen the effectiveness of the Anti-Money Laundering/Combatting Financial Terrorism regime.

According to the same statement the Philippines completed its Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) in 2019, the government has made progress on a number of recommended actions to improve technical compliance and effectiveness as well as its programs to address technical deficiencies on targeted financial sanctions.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council, in a statement released over the weekend, disclosed the government’s firm and high-level political commitment for the implementation of the International Cooperation Review Group’s action plans to address anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing deficiencies in the Philippines.

The AMLC said last June 23, the FATF took note of the country’s National Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism strategy composed of several committees composed of representatives of relevant government and law enforcement agencies.

Part of their strategy is the reinforcement of money laundering and terrorism financing investigation and prosecution along with campaigns to increase public awareness.

There are 18 action plans that need to be implemented within the prescribed timelines for the Philippines to be removed from the list.

The Philippines has been required to submit progress reports to the FATF three times a year.

Over in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque today said the Philippines’ inclusion in the Increased Monitoring list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) does not mean sanctions will be imposed.

At the midday briefing, he said the Philippines will be required to submit progress reports on the programs mutually agreed upon by the FATF and the Philippine government to address the deficiencies. (Melo M. Acuña)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. (Screen grab from PTV4/RTVM/PCOO/Melo M. Acuna)

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