The Philippines has slipped back into the Financial Action Task Force money laundering watchlist and now needs to submit progress reports thrice a year after the global watchdog protecting against ill-gotten money and criminal proceeds included the country in its list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring.
The disappointing backslide comes four years after global regulators removed the Philippines from the watchlist as the government put safeguards against any cash gained through illegal means. The major push was the enactment of Republic Act 10927 which placed physical and internet-based casino operators under the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
“Given the recent identification of the Philippines as ‘Jurisdiction under Increased Monitoring’ with serious AML/CTF (anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing) deficiencies, the relevant government and law enforcement agencies’ sustained pledge to implement the 18 action plans within the prescribed timelines will be essential to the country’s removal from such list,” AMLC said.
These action plans include the amendment and passage of AML/CTF laws, enhancement of the AML/CTF supervisory framework, reinforcement of money laundering and terrorism financing investigation and prosecution, and campaigns to increase public awareness.
A lot of work went into getting our country out of the FATF watchlist that makes life difficult, not only for money launderers and terrorist organizations, but for regular folk in a country where foreign remittances are integral for many families. Slipping back into the watchlist means additional costs and inconveniences once more for everyone as we wait for our government to reverse the causes of the backslide and put the nation back in good standing with global watchdogs like the FATF.*