Guingona assures passage of last AMLA amendments

A DAY after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) “ responded positively” to the initiatives of the Philippine government to enhance its transparency and accountability mechanisms in financial transactions, Senator Teofisto Guingona III assured the passage of last amendments on Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA)

“At the resumption of the next session this July, the last AMLA amendment measure sitting in the Senate will be tackled and hopefully passed. SBN 3123 is under plenary discussions,” Guingona said in a statement.

Guingona said the bill aims to significantly expand the number of so-called “covered institutions and persons” or those institutions and individuals required to submit covered transaction reports and suspicious transaction reports within a period of time.

“It also proposes to expand the list of predicate crimes such as: bribery and corruption of public officers; frauds and illegal exactions; malversation of public funds and property; forgeries and counterfeiting; and anti-trafficking in persons,” he concluded.

Earlier, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., in his capacity as AMLC chairman, said In a letter to President Benigno Aquino,  that FATF recognized the reforms instituted by the Philippine government, by upgrading the Philippines from the “dark grey list” to its “grey list.”

The country was previously under the “dark grey list,” which refers to jurisdictions not making sufficient progress, and is now in the “grey list,” which signifies it is making sufficient progress in addressing deficiencies in its Action Plan.

According to Tetangco’s report, the FATF took notice of the passage of key legislative reforms certified as urgent by the President. In particular, the bills recently signed into law – “An Act To Further Strengthen The Anti-Money Laundering Law” and “The Terrorism Financing Prevention And Suppression Act of 2012” – strengthened the capability of government to identify and prevent financial transactions related to illegal activities and those that undermine global security.

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