The updated grey list by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) highlights that the Philippines still has work to do in implementing its action plan, according to the FATF itself.
Following its recent plenary meeting, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has declared that the Philippines will remain on its “grey list” of jurisdictions considered to have strategic deficiencies. The FATF emphasized that the Philippines is required to persist in implementing its action plan aimed at addressing these deficiencies.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has acknowledged the efforts made by the Philippines to enhance compliance with targeted financial sanctions obligations, strengthen financial intelligence capabilities, and prioritize asset tracing in criminal cases. However, the country has been urged to expedite the implementation of its action plan as the deadlines for addressing strategic deficiencies expired in January 2023.
Urgent Focus on Casino Junkets and AML Controls
Addressing Vulnerabilities in the Casino Sector
One of the key recommendations highlighted by the FATF emphasizes the need for the Philippines to effectively mitigate risks associated with casino junkets through robust anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) controls. The urgency of implementing the action plan promptly has been emphasized, given the January 2023 deadlines.
Extension Granted, Data-Sharing Initiatives Implemented
Extension Granted, AML Efforts Strengthened
The Philippine central bank had previously announced a one-year extension, extending the deadline until January 2024. In March, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission took a significant step towards combating money laundering and terrorist financing by establishing a data-sharing agreement with various government agencies, including the gaming regulator. This move was prompted by the Philippine Anti-Money Laundering Council’s report, which highlighted the need to bolster AML controls within the casino sector, with particular emphasis on the vulnerability of the junket system to money laundering and terrorism financing risks.