Marcos wants to remove PH in global money laundering ‘grey list’ in 2024

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has directed the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and all concerned government agencies to address the remaining strategic deficiencies that would remove Philippine in the global money laundering ‘grey list’ in 2024.

During the sectoral meeting on Tuesday, the President reiterated his order to strengthen efforts that would ensure that the Philippines will not be a money laundering site for any unlawful activities through Executive Order No. 33 issued last year.

“The President reiterated the government’s high-level political commitment and directed all government agencies concerned to strictly address the remaining strategic deficiencies identified by the FATF in relation to the grey listing of the Philippines,” AMLC Executive Director Matthew David said in a Palace briefing later Tuesday.

“The Philippines is aiming to address all these deficiencies within 2024 and to trigger the exit process from this FATF grey listing,” he said.

Global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) placed the country under grey list in June 2021.

According to David, the President also directed the agencies of the government to continuously sustain good coordination among themselves between law enforcement and other government agencies for such order.

The country has originally received 18 action plan items to resolve its grey list status in 2021. Currently it has eight remaining action plans that need to be addressed.

These remaining action plans include the effective risk-based supervision of Non-Financial Businesses and professionals (NFBPs); mitigating risk associated with casino junkets; enhancing and streamlining access to beneficial ownership information; demonstrating an increase in the money laundering and terrorism financing investigations and prosecutions; and ensuring cross-border measures in all entry points across the country, including seaports and airports.

While the government is on the right track to fulfilling the President’s order, David stressed the need to expedite the removal of the Philippines from the list.

“There are precautions for being on the grey list, because the longer we are on the grey list, the bigger the possibility or the higher the risk that we will enter the black list. Of course, we don’t want to be in the blacklisted jurisdiction. And if we will be on the blacklisted list, there are repercussions to that and one of the repercussions is the effect on our transactions of our OFWs,” David said.

David further discussed that the FATF may impose countermeasures on the Philippines and international financial transactions of Filipinos abroad should the country be blacklisted.

These could mean an increase in cost of remittance services and more stringent requirements. There may also be higher risk for transactions to be denied or disapproved, David pointed out.

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