FATF urges the Philippines to swiftly implement AML action plan

The country aims to exit the FATF gray list by January 2024.
The country aims to exit the FATF gray list by January 2024.

The country remains on the Financial Action Task Force’s grey list.

The Philippines.- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has again urged the Philippines to expedite the implementation of its action plan on anti-money laundering (AML) and the financing of terrorism (CFT). The country was put on the FATF grey list in June 2021 after an evaluation report by the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) highlighted 18 deficiencies in AML/CFT controls.

The FATF’s statement reads: “The FATF urges the Philippines to swiftly implement its action plan to address the strategic deficiencies as soon as possible, as all deadlines expired in January 2023.”

See also: IMF urges Philippines to speed up efforts to exit FATF Gray list

While progress has been made, eight concerns must still be addressed if the country is to exit the list in January. The FATF has said that the Philippines must demonstrate effective use of AML and CFT controls to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets.

Executive secretary Lucas Bersamin had mandated agencies to review and evaluate their performance based on the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) Action Plans by November 30. The Anti-Money Laundering Council has been ordered to provide a report by December 8. 

In July, during a keynote speech at the SiGMA Asia, PAGCOR chairman and CEO, Alejandro H. Tengco, stressed the importance of the Philippines being removed from the FATF. He said it not only impacts the gaming industry but also the nation’s trade, commerce and global financial standing.

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