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Financial action task force upgrades PHL

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The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) reported that 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.

In an interview aired over government-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte issued the statement following reports on the non-inclusion of the Philippines in the FATF’s black list of non-cooperative countries.

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

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.

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

Valte reiterated that transparency and accountability are among the foremost guiding principles of the Aquino administration.

"And 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 the institutional reforms that we have constantly advocated," she said.

The Financial Action Task Force was established by the G-7 Summit that was held in Paris in 1989 in response to mounting concerns over money laundering. This inter-governmental body sets the standards and promotes effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

By PNA




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