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House Bill Passed in Philippine to Enforce AML LAW

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House of Representatives has approved legal amendments to regulate the developers, metal dealers, casinos, and real estate brokers under the Anti-Money Laundering Protocols. 

This is a regime by the country to avoid any chances of being grey-listed by the FATF- Financial Action Task Force. The Philippines was given until 2021 February to improve its Anti-Money Laundering Act. They are required to come up with a better policy to implement regulations and increase their efforts to eliminate terrorism financing and money-laundering activities. The deadline, which was originally in October 2020, was moved to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippine has marked the AMLA amendments as an urgent task, according to the local news. 

The act also improves and strengthens the power of AMLC and its investigative skills. The AMLC will now be allowed to utilize court-approved and warranted searches and the right to seizures and to collect evidence, the right to command freeze, dispose, or manage the assets, or even give orders of asset prevention. 

Money Laundering activities that are carried out offshore will now also be persecuted by the AMLC. The government will now be able to investigate transnationally. AMLC will also be able to enforce the financial sanctions on the individuals or even organizations that are suspected to finance the spread of weapons and terrorism according to the UNCS. 

AML council’s executive director Mel Georgie Racela says the house bill will be a good effort to fill the gaps in present AML regulations. “I am confident it [timely passage] will help but then again, it is not enough to just pass the bill into law, we must also demonstrate effective implementation of what FATF describes as positive and tangible progress.”