Pag-amyenda sa Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2011, Inaasahang Maipapasa ng Senado Ngayong Linggo

admin   •   October 15, 2012   •   3008

 

FILE PHOTO: Senator Sergio ‘Serge’ Osmeña III

MANILA, Philippines — Uumpisahan na ngayong araw ang pagpupulong ng Financial Action Task Force (FATF) sa Hong Kong upang talakayin ang mga hakbang ng Pilipinas laban sa anti money laundering at pagsugpo sa pagpopondo sa terorismo.

Tatagal ang naturang FATF meeting sa hanggang Oktubre 19.

Umaasa naman si Senador Serge Osmeña na bago matapos ang naturang meeting ay maipapasa na ng senado ang AMLA amendment bill (Senate Bill 3123) na magpapalawig sa Republic Act number 9160.

Ayon kay Osmeña, napagkasunduan ng mga senador sa huling meeting nila noong Miyerkules na gumawa ng individual amendments sa AMLA bill na ihahain nila sa komite ngayong araw.

“The committee will consolidate it and agree to adopt or not adopt. We will close the period of interpellation, go to the committee amendments and by Tuesday it should pass already,” pahayag ni Senador Serge Osmeña.

Hindi man aniya maipasa sa itinakda nilang schedule, ang mahalaga ay maipakita sa FATF na pursigido ang Pilipinas sa pagpapalakas ng AMLA law.

“Hopefully we can show them the bill if not the law by October 19.”

Nito lamang buwan ng Hunyo, naipasa ng senado ang Senate Bill 3009 na nagpapahintulot sa AMLAC na suriin ang mga bank account na kahinahinala kahit walang notice ng nagmamay-ari ng account.

Ipinasa na rin ang Senate Bill 3127 o ang Anti Terrorist Financing bill na nagbibigay mandato sa AMLAC na magimbestiga sa anumang pag-aari o pondo na ginagamit sa terorismo.

Ayon kay Senador Franklin Drilon, kailangan na maipasa ang nasabing amyenda sa AMLA law ngayong linggo upang hindi malagay sa peligro ang remittances ng mga Overseas Filipino Worker (OFWs).

Kapag naipasa ang AMLA amendment bill, maaalis na ang Pilipinas sa blacklist ng FATF-member countries. (Bryan De Paz & Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

AMLC asked to submit report on efforts to remove Philippines from int’l grey list

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Thursday asked the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to provide the Senate a written report on efforts to strike the Philippines off the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list.

“We expect a substantial update from the AMLC on the concrete steps and direction we are taking to ensure progress on our compliance,” Poe said in a statement.

The senator pointed out that Congress already did its part in resolving the technical deficiencies of the law by amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).

“Passing the necessary amendments to the law is one of the requirements under the mutual evaluation report which was duly met,” said Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies.

She also stressed that the AMLA reforms are important in protecting the earnings of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“We should not make it difficult for our OFWs to send hard-earned money to their loved ones. They must be spared of undue costs and delays in their remittances,” she said.

“Higher remittance charges mean less sustenance for the families of OFWs, and a week of delay in receiving the money impacts on the ability of their dependents back home to make both ends meet,” she added. “OFW remittances always step in to buoy the local economy even in the middle of the pandemic.”

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), total money sent by Filipino migrant workers from January to April this year reached $9.9 billion. This is higher by 4.8 percent than the $9.4 billion remittance inflows in the same period last year.

The FATF, a Paris-based anti-money laundering watchdog, earlier added the Philippines to its grey list or countries under increased monitoring.

Poe said the failure to implement enhanced due diligence measures could lead to higher interest rates and processing fees, which could impact on the ordinary Filipinos, including OFWs in sending their remittances.

The inclusion in the list does not automatically subject the Philippines to countermeasures, the AMLC earlier said. However, the country needs to substantially comply with the needed reforms within a given time frame to avert the financial sanctions.

“The government must ensure that those who are earning lawfully and legally are not inconvenienced. We cannot afford to deal with more financial challenges as we reel from the brunt of the pandemic,” Poe said.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, chairperson of the AMLC, earlier made a commitment to work with the FATF and the Asia Pacific Group toward the timely implementation of the action plans.

The country’s financial intelligence unit vowed to resolve the remaining strategic deficiencies, which are down to 18 from 70, to be stricken off the grey list.

Diokno said that the Philippines will make a report to the FATF on its progress three times a year starting this September, optimistic that the country will be taken off the grey list after completion of all action plans in two years.

Amendments to PH’s Anti-Money Laundering laws pushed in Senate

Robie de Guzman   •   March 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday, March 5 pushed for amendments to the country’s existing laws against money laundering amid the alleged influx of foreign cash into the country which is suspected to be linked to illegal activities.

“The bringing of huge sums of money in and out of the country in past months with seeming impunity indicates the urgent need for action from our government, not just by the Executive but also by the Legislative,” Lacson said in a statement.

“Our authorities should keep up with, if not keep one step ahead of, criminals who are trying to do the same,” he added.

He said that while there is a “need to address the corruption that that is one big reason for authorities’ tolerating money laundering,” the gaps at the existing laws, such as Bank Secrecy Law and the Anti-Money Laundering Act, should also be looked into.

“There is also a need to take a long, hard look at gaps in our existing laws, including the Bank Secrecy Law and the Anti-Money Laundering Act,” he said.

Lacson also said that the amendments to these laws should also make sure that they cannot be weaponized for political purposes.

The senator said he has experienced such abuse when some of his accusers prompted him to waive his rights under the Bank Secrecy Law to belie their claims that he has dollars in his account.

“And acting from those experiences, I proposed amendments to the AMLA and filed a bill excluding all public servants from the Bank Secrecy Act,” he said.

Lacson made the statement after Senator Richard Gordon claimed in a privilege speech on Tuesday that some $447 million or equivalent to P22 billion were brought into the country from September 2019 to February 2020, based on the report of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The sums of cash were allegedly carried by 47 individuals, mostly Chinese nationals, arriving in the Philippines from Hong Kong and Singapore.

Palace ignores possible FATF blacklist over AMLC changes

admin   •   January 5, 2017

File photo.

Malacañang ignored the possibility of the country being blacklisted in the inter-governmental body Financial Action Task Force (FATF) because of possible changes in chairmanship of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

It can be recalled that former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had proposed to ban the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor from heading the AMLC.  Arroyo believes that AMLC can be used as a tool of selective justice.

But Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella  said that President Rodrigo Duterte has no plans of changing the AMLC but just warned against reports of irresponsible officials.

Abella added that Arroyo’s proposal needs to go through deliberation before becoming a law thus the blacklist issue requires discussion. — UNTV News & Rescue

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