Cash wash watch

November 22, 2018

Money laundering is the generous mother of all crimes.

The ability to wash dirty money enables crime syndicates to legitimately go to other illegal and legal economic activities that expand their criminal reach and project their sinister power farther.

Apparently, the existence of a law against money laundering has not fully deterred criminal syndicates from committing the economic crime.

And so Malacañang has decided to add more teeth to anti-money-laundering efforts.

President Duterte has signed an executive order strengthening the country’s campaign against money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF).

The President signed Executive Order No. 68 on Nov. 12 adopting the National Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLCFT) Strategy or NACS.

“It is declared policy of the State to ensure that the Philippines shall not be used as a money laundering site for the proceeds of any unlawful activity,” the order stated.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), together with relevant government agencies, has formulated and adopted the NACS which will be implemented over the period of 2018 to 2022.

The NACS would enable the government and the private sector to have a coordinated and strategic approach towards combating money laundering and terrorism financing in the country.

“There is a need to harmonize AML/CFT efforts to relevant government agencies and private stakeholders and ensure that they are consistent with the NACS and addresses ML/TF risks,” it said.

The order called for the creation of the National AML/CFT Coordinating Committee (NACC) which would ensure “efficient and effective” implementation of the roles and responsibilities of relevant government agencies as stated in the NACS.

NACC shall also facilitate the periodic conduct of the ML/TF risk assessment and recommend action plans, which may be included in the NACS, to address the risks identified.

The committee is tasked also to promote activities to spread awareness of the NACS and identified high ML/TF risk areas.

The NACC would be chaired by the Executive Secretary “or his duly-authorized representative” with Bangko Sentral (BSP) Governor and AMLC Chairperson as co-vice chairpersons.