Pinas di na blacklisted ng FATF

NALUSUTAN ng Pilipinas ang mapasama sa blacklist ng Financial Action Task Force (FATF) at ang mahigpit na international financial sanctions na kaagapay nito.

Sa katunayan, ayon kay Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte ay nakakuha ang Pilipinas ng upgrade mula sa  FATF, na ang ibig sabihin ay umangat mula sa dark-gray ngayon ay gray list ng nasabing ahensiya.

Sinabi ni Valte na nangyari ang magandang development na ito matapos lagdaan ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino ang mga batas na naglalayong patatagin ang Philippine Anti-Money Laundering Council, sugpuin ang terrorism financing sa bansa at isunod ang law enforcement mechanisms sa global standards.

“(On Friday), the AMLC reported the FATF responded positively to the initiatives of the Philippine government to enhance its transparency and accountability mechanisms in financial transactions. While we recognize that more needs to be done to strengthen our existing anti-money laundering and anti-financial terrorism measures, we take the satisfaction expressed by the FATF as affirmation of institutional reforms that we have constantly advocated,” ani Valte.

Sinabi ni Valte na ipinaalam ni Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., chairman AMLC, kay Pangulong Aquino III ang upgrade issue.

Aniya, ang dark-gray list ay kinabibilangan ng mga teritoryo na hindi nagpapakita ng progreso habang ang gray list ay “signifies we are making sufficient progress in addressing deficiencies in our action plans.”

“According to Governor Tetangco’s report, the FATF took notice of the passage of key legislative reforms certified as urgent by the president, in particular the bills he recently signed into law,” she added.

Tinukoy nito ang “Act To Further Strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering Law” at ang “The Terrorism Financing Prevention And Suppression Act of 2012.”

Ang hakbang na ito, ayon sa opisyal, ay nagpapatibay sa kakayahan ng gobyerno na kilalanin at iwasan ang financial transactions na may kinalaman sa illegal activities at iyong may kinalaman sa global security.

“These reforms enabled the Philippines from being classified and being downgraded to the blacklist which would have resulted in stricter inspections of financial transactions in the country, delayed remittances and higher transaction fees,” ani Valte.

Samantala, may isa pang measure na nakabinbing aprubahan ng Senado kung saan inihayag ng mga senador na agad nilang tatalakayin ito sa Hulyo 23, araw ng SONA at pag-resume ng sesyon sa Kongreso.

“The Philippines is now one step away from the top level of the FATF – that of being fully compliant. The gray and dark-gray lists and the black list are in the middle of the four levels, while the bottom level lists countries that are subject to countermeasures.The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act allows authorities to freeze suspected terrorist funds and inquire into bank accounts even without a court order,” ani Usec. Valte.

Nauna nang binalaan ni AMLC executive director Vicente Aquino ang Pilipinas sa posibilidad na maharap sa tinatawag na “drastic countermeasures” o matinding kaparusahan kapag tuluyang nahulog sa FATF blacklist.

“The people [who] will be hit hard or hit hardest are our overseas Filipino workers and their families because these sanctions would result in delayed and costly remittances, high intermediation costs and other charges and these will not also be good for the banking sector,”  ayon kay Aquino.

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