Senate to rush AMLA amendments next week
- Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Senate will strive to approve the final amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) next week and have it signed into law by President Aquino in order to avoid a possible downgrade of the country’s status by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, the chairman of the sub-committee on the AMLA amendments, said that the three top officials of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) would be meeting with the senators who still have concerns over the amendments to try and address these over lunch on Monday.

The Bangko Sentral governor, Insurance Commission chairman and Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, as the top executives of the AMLC, would present their case to the senators and hopefully, take away the need for further debates in the plenary sessions of the Senate.

“I’m inviting people, the senators to air whatever their concerns. To clear the air, to simplify issues, to answer the issues, so that when this is taken up on the floor again, things will move faster,” Guingona said.

Guingona said the FATF will hold its plenary meeting on Oct. 15 and if Congress is not able to approve the AMLA amendment bill by that time, “the status of the Philippines will be reviewed on the next convention of the AMLA.”

The Philippines managed to evade a blacklisting by the FATF during its previous plenary session last June and even got an upgrade from dark grey to grey.

According to the AMLC, the FATF took into consideration the signing into law of Republic Acts 10167 and 10168 or the amendments to the AMLA and the prevention of terrorist financing, respectively.

However, Guingona said that the FATF still sees some deficiencies in the country’s efforts to address money laundering and expects to see the passage of the third bill amending the AMLA.

Senate Bill 3123 expands the coverage of the AMLA, the so-called predicate crimes listed in the law and the covered institutions or individuals in the AMLA to include foreign exchange corporations, money changers, pre-need companies, casinos, real estate agents and dealers in precious stones and metals.

It also expands the list of unlawful activities and predicate crimes to include terrorism and conspiracy to commit terrorism, bribery, fraud, malversation of public funds and property, forgeries and counterfeiting and tax evasion.

Guingona said the failure of the country to approve the bill before the FATF’s plenary session would not mean an automatic downgrading of its status but would definitely merit an evaluation.

The House of Representatives has already approved its own version of the bill, which has been certified as urgent by the President.

With the certification from the President, the Senate can approve the bill on third and final reading immediately after its approval on second reading.

AMLA ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING ACT ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COUNCIL BANGKO SENTRAL FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE GUINGONA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INSURANCE COMMISSION PRESIDENT AQUINO REPUBLIC ACTS SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with