by Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News | 02/04/2013 9:01 PM
MANILA, Philippines - The Senate has approved on final reading a measure strengthening the country's anti-money laundering law by expanding the list of institutions that are required to report suspicious transactions to the government.
In a 15-0 vote, senators approved Senate Bill 3123 on Monday or two days before Congress goes on break for the election campaign period.
The bicameral conference committee will convene on Tuesday, according to the office of Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, the bill's sponsor.
Guingona earlier said the he hopes the bill would be ratified and sent to President Aquino for signing into law this week in order for the country to avoid being blacklisted by and face sanctions from the international group Financial Action Task Force.
The measure, one of three bills strengthening the anti-money laundering law, expands the covered institutions and individuals for money laundering to include foreign exchange corporations, money changers, remittance center and similar establishments, pre-need companies, casinos, and precious stones and metal dealers.