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PNoy to meet with Senate, House leaders on special session

Rappler.com
The planned special session is meant to tackle amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act

MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino intends to meet with leaders of the House and the Senate on the “necessity” of  holding a special session to pass the amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (Amla).

“According to the President, we will consult with the leadership of both chambers as to the necessity of the special session. The urgency has been expressed to the concerned legislators,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said on Monday, March 12.

The President is concerned about the possible inclusion of the Philippines in the blacklist of the Europe-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) if the Amla is not amended by May 2012, according to Lacierda.

“Certainly the President is concerned about our situation, our possibility of being put in the blacklist,” he said.

Enrile said in a radio interview over the weekend that if it were up to him, there would be no special sessions to hear amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, or Republic Act No. 9160, and would rather “finish it in the ordinary course of business at the Senate.”

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) had said that if the Philippines is blacklisted, the country would face “drastic countermeasures or sanctions,” and those to be hardest hit are overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and their families.

The sanctions would lead to “delayed and costly remittances, high intermediation costs and other charges” that would also affect the banking sector, the AMLC said last week. – Rappler.com