New AML Rules in the Philippines

June 19, 2012 Taxation in Philippines

President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino signs new AML lawsMANILA – The Philippines is bringing in new rules to fight the occurrence of tax evasion, staving off the threat of being “blacklisted” by the Financial Action Task Force.

On June 18th the President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino signed the two new bills which will amend the current Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) and the Terrorist Financing Suppression Act (TFSA), instating stricter rules to fight tax evasion and granting the Philippine’s tax authorities greater powers when conducting investigations into suspected cases of tax evasion and terrorist financing.

Explaining the significance of the new laws, the spokesperson for the President Edwin Lacierda said that both bills will greatly aid the government in preventing money laundering, and will also boost national tax revenues and improve global security.

According to the President, the newly signed bills confirm the commitment of the current administration to transparency and government accountability.

Last year the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) warned the Philippines that it needs to impose stricter AML rules by the end of this June 2011, or face the risk of being “blacklisted” as an uncooperative country. The bills are expected to qualify as two of the three amendments which needed to be carried out by the Philippines in order for the country to be regarded as complying with international transparency standards set out by the FATF.

Earlier this month the Philippine’s Anti-Money Laundering Council said that being blacklisted would have disastrous effects on the national economy.

Photo by World Bank Photo Collection