AMLC Okays Last 2 IRRs

Article excerpt

The inter-agency Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has approved the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of two anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws, in what is viewed as crucial steps to finally combating money launderers and terrorists.

"These IRRs are important and the last hurdle," said Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., who added that the IRRs are long in coming.

The BSP-based AMLC, which is also supervised by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Insurance Commission, has been pouring over the IRR of The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10168) and the revised IRR of the older Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (Republic Act No. 9160, as amended by RA Nos. 9194 and 10167) for some time.

The central bank in a circular letter announced the issuance of the AMLC resolutions approving the new and the revised IRRs. "We (had to) wait to implement guidelines against money laundering and terrorist financing," said Espenilla.

Last June, the Philippines had a break in its campaign against money laundering and terrorist financing when the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) did not downgrade the country's status to the "black list" area and decided to keep the country in the "gray list" area after being removed or upgraded from the "dark gray list". A gray listing signifies progress while a dark gray listing indicates that while a country is showing sufficient progress against money laundering and terrorist financing, compliance is still lacking.

The government has been circling the FATF's black list area for years and avoidance is a must since a black listed nation are subjected to restrictions, more stringent inspections and additional reporting requirements which will inconvenience remittances, for one. …