Congress ratifies AMLA amendments
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Both chambers of Congress on Wednesday, February 6, ratified the final version of a measure seeking to expand the coverage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), beating the deadline set by an international body to avoid inclusion in a blacklist.
The measure expands the list of predicate crimes or unlawful activities, and the list of institutions covered by the law.
Under the final version of the bill approved by the bicameral conference committee on Tuesday, February 5, foreign exchange corporations, money changers, and pre-need companies will be required to report transactions of P500,000 and above to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
Meanwhile, precious stones and metal dealers will be required to report transactions of P1 million and above.
The reconciled version also mandates the Land Registration Authority to report transactions in the real estate sector. The Senate version proposed for the inclusion of brokers and real estate agents to the list.
However, bicam members removed casinos from the list, a provision that was included in the Senate version of the bill.
The bill aims to expand the list of predicate crimes or unlawful activities to include:
- conspiracy to commit terrorism
- illegal exactions
- malversation of public funds
- violations to the: Anti Trafficking Act, Revised Forestry Code, Philippine Fisheries Code, Philippines Mining Act, Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, National Caves and Cave Resoruces Management Protection Act, and Anti-Carnapping Act
- illegal possesion, manufacture or disposition of firearms, ammunication or explosives
The measure is the 3rd of 3 amendments required by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for the Philippines to avoid being put under a blacklist when the FATF meets on February 18.
Inclusion in the blacklist would denote "that the Philippines is perceived to be ‘non-cooperative’ in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.”
President Benigno Aquino III recently signed into law two of the 3 proposed amendments to the AMLA – Senate Bill 3009 and Senate Bill 3127.
Senate Bill 3009 allows the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to look into bank accounts of suspected money launderers without notifying them.
Senate Bill 3127 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act criminalizes terrorist financing as an offense separate from the crime of terrorism. – Rappler.com