The International Monetary Fund (IMF) states that the Philippines’ effort on outstanding issues related to anti-money laundering (AML) and combatting the financing of terrorism (CFT) “needs to be stepped up”. This was in order to “support a swift… exit” from the “grey list” of non-complaint jurisdictions designated by the Paris-based watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Among the “key remaining gaps” identified by the FATF was the need for the Philippines to demonstrate it was utilising AML and CFT controls to mitigate “risks associated with casino junkets,” noted the IMF’s latest report on the Philippines, publicly released on Friday.
Other “key” gaps mentioned by the fund included: “demonstrating effective risk-based supervision of designated non-financial businesses and professions”; “enhancing law enforcement agencies’ access to beneficial ownership information”; and “investigating and prosecuting complex money laundering cases.”
The Philippines remains on the FATF’s “grey list” of jurisdictions it says require increased monitoring regarding financial crime risk. The country was added to the “grey list” in June 2021.
In October, the FATF had urged that the Philippines “swiftly implement” its action plan to address existing “strategic deficiencies” concerning AML and CFT.
Earlier this month, the Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council stated that the country’s government had “reaffirmed its steadfast commitment” to enhancing the effectiveness of the nation’s AML regime and CFT measures.
In its October report, the FATF acknowledged that, since June 2021, the Philippines had “taken steps” towards improving its AML/CFT regime. But the FATF listed some areas where more should be done to address the country’s “strategic deficiencies” in these matters. That included mitigating risks associated with casino junkets.
In January, the governor of the Philippine central bank said the country has been granted a one-year extension – until January 2024 – to meet the financial standards needed to get off the risk list of the FATF.
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