Manila expects removal from FATF list next year
The Philippines intends to be removed from the “grey list” of nations considered noncompliant with global antimoney laundering standards by next year.
According to Davao de Oro Rep. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, who sponsored the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) 2024 budget in the House plenary budget debates, the country has until November to comply with the requirements of international group Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“We are still on the grey list, but we are about to exit the list next year,” said Gonzaga, who spoke on behalf of the DOJ as nonlawmakers were barred from joining plenary deliberations.
In its website, the FATF “leads global action to tackle money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing.” Being on the group’s list means that the country is still working on improving its antimoney laundering policies.
During her interpellation, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas asked about the qualifiers needed for the Philippines to be removed from the grey list, noting that the country already has the Anti-Terrorism Act.
“We are still lacking in terms of the prosecution cases … even if we have the antiterror law, this is not enough. We still need to apply the qualifiers to exit the list,” said Gonzaga.
Apart from additional prosecutions on the money laundering activities and terrorism financing, he said the country needed to have registration for the covered persons, which refers to the training of more people and having them registered with the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
“We also need to have more mechanisms on cross borders control especially with the bulk cash that comes in and out of Customs. And we should also have strict enforcement of [antimoney laundering policy] on casino operations. We have to exert more diligence on that matter,” he added.
President Marcos earlier directed all government departments and agencies to adopt a new antimoney laundering and counterterrorism financing strategy for 2023 to 2027.