Stronger anti-money laundering law signed

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IN what appears to be another effort  to boost regulations on money laundering in the Philippines, President  Rodrigo Duterte on Friday signed a measure amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).

In signing Republic Act No. 11521,  the President cited the need to protect the integrity and confidentiality of bank accounts and to prevent money laundering in the country.

In October last year, President Duterte sought for the speedy passage of counterpart bills House Bill No. 6174 and Senate Bill No. 1412, which would strengthen AMLA, and certified both as urgent. 

Both bills aimed to comply with legal standards for anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing that were established by international bodies.

The measure was also expanded to cover real-estate developers and brokers, offshore gaming operators supervised, accredited, or regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). 

The AMLA is also applicable to transactions over P500,000 in a day, and even casino cash transactions of over P5 million.

Some provisions on tax crimes were also added and its proposed thresholds under the law. A section on information security and confidentiality, and on incentive system and rewards was also added. 

The measure, likewise, gave more power to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to investigate all those that can be considered “suspicious transactions.” 

AMLC has 90 days to create the law’s implementing rules and regulations from the date of its publication on the country’s Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation. 

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