Gov’t agencies told to hasten steps vs money laundering
Malacañang has ordered the “urgent implementation” by concerned government agencies of the national antimoney laundering and counterterrorism strategy to remove the country from the “grey list” of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Memorandum Circular No. 37, dated Oct. 16 and signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin “by authority” of the President, “directed” and “encouraged” national and local government agencies, respectively, “to immediately and timely formulate and implement relevant strategies, plans and programs to implement the National Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorism Financing and Counter-Proliferation Financing Strategy 2023-2027, particularly its Strategic Objective 1.”
Based on Executive Order No. 33 issued by Mr. Marcos in July, Strategic Objective 1 addresses 18 action plan items with time frames which the FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) recommended for the Philippines’ exit from the “jurisdictions under increased monitoring” category or the “grey list.”
In 2019, a mutual evaluation report (MER) identified “strategic deficiencies” that made the country a candidate for the FATF’s grey list. The Philippines was placed under a 16-month observation period to address all deficiencies in 70 MER Recommended Actions (MRAs).After the country submitted a postobservation period report, the ICRG said that tangible and positive progress was not made across all key MRAs regarding the Philippines’ antimoney laundering and countering the financing of terrorism system.
It recommended 18 “action plan items” the government must implement within given time frames to exit the grey list.
These included supervision of covered persons; access to beneficial ownership information; enhancement in money laundering and financial investigations, prosecutions and confiscations; enforcement of cross-border declarations, use of targeted financial actions in terrorism, terrorism financing and proliferation financing; and risk-based measures to protect non-profit organizations.