Philippines not on FATF blacklist, Palace says

Posted at 06/23/12 4:13 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is not on the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) latest black list of non-cooperative countries, Malacañang said Saturday.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a press statement, said the the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) reported Friday that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) responded positively to the initiatives of the Philippine government to enhance its transparency and accountability mechanisms in financial transactions.

She said Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., who chairs the AMLC, told President Benigno Aquino in a letter that the FATF has recognized the reforms launched by the Philippine government.

The FATF, an international body promoting policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, upgraded the Philippines from the “dark grey list” to its “grey list.”

"The country was previously under the 'dark grey list,' which refers to jurisdictions not making sufficient progress, and is now in the 'grey list,' which signifies that we are making sufficient progress in addressing deficiencies in our Action Plan," Valte said.

"According Governor Tetangco’s report, the FATF took notice of the passage of key legislative reforms certified as urgent by the President," she added.

Valte said 2 bills recently signed into law – “An Act To Further Strengthen The Anti-Money Laundering Law” and “The Terrorism Financing Prevention And Suppression Act of 2012”— strengthened the capability of government to identify and prevent financial transactions related to illegal activities and those that undermine global security.

"These reforms enabled the Philippines from being classified and downgraded to the 'black list,' which would have resulted in stricter inspections of financial transactions in the country, delayed remittances, and higher transaction fees," she explained.

"Transparency and accountability are among the foremost guiding principles of the Aquino administration," Valte added. "While we recognize that more needs to be done to strengthen our existing anti-money laundering and anti-financial terrorism measures, we take the satisfaction expressed by the FATF as affirmation of the institutional reforms that we have constantly advocated."