The Philippines to lift mandatory use of masks in bid to boost tourism

The Philippines has already lifted most Covid-19 restrictions.
The Philippines has already lifted most Covid-19 restrictions.

The Philippines will lift mandatory mask-wearing in public and indoor spaces.

The Philippines.- Authorities in The Philippines have decided to end the mandatory use of face masks in public spaces to move in line with Southeast Asian neighbours that have already lifted the measure. No date has yet been specified for when the requirement will be lifted, but President Ferdinand Marcos Jr is expected to issue an executive order soon.

According to Christina Frasco, the Philippines’ tourism secretary, indoor mask-wearing will become voluntary, with a few exceptions. She said it was hoped the move would tourism to help revitalise an economy heavily damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Philippines lifted the majority of Covid-19 restrictions back in March, which helped casino revenue. The Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) benefitted from the easing of Covid-19 countermeasures, reporting a net income of PHP2.16bn (US$38.8m) in the first half of the year, up 2,600 per cent when compared to last year.

AML Council still working to get The Philippines off FATF grey list

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Paris-based inter-governmental agency that monitors controls on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, has decided to keep the Philippines on its “grey list” of untrustworthy jurisdictions. The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) issued a statement saying it is working to get the country off the list.

It said: “guidelines are in place to examine and enforce AML/CFT controls such as a monitoring system to address the risks associated with casino junkets.”

The FATF mentioned in its recent review summary that the Philippines needs to improve and simplify access to beneficial ownership information by law enforcement and take steps to ensure such information is accurate and up-to-date.

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