Marcos wants immediate implementation of anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing strategy

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has directed the immediate implementation of the National Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorism Financing and Counter-Proliferation Financing Strategy 2023-2027 to address terrorism financing.

Signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin in authority of the President, Memorandum Circular No. 37 urged concerned agencies to support efforts in fighting money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment.

“In accordance with their respective mandate, all concerned departments, agencies, bureaus, and instrumentalities of the National Government, including government-owned or –controlled corporations (GOCCs) are directed, and all the local government units (LGUs) are encouraged, to immediately and timely formulate and implement relevant strategies, plans and programs to implement NACS 2023-2027 [National AML/TF/CPF Strategy], particularly its Strategic Objective No. 1,” the memorandum read.

The MC also ordered all agency heads to review and assess their deliverables under the International Cooperation Review Group Action Plan, assign focal persons to complete the deliverables by November 30 2023, and establish a mechanism to monitor the progress of each deliverable.

In July, Marcos directed government agencies to adopt the NACS 2023-2027 to improve their anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter proliferation financing (AML/CTF/CPF) regime through the adoption of the said financing strategy.

Under the latest MC, the National AML/CFT Coordinating Committee (NACC) Secretariat is tasked to furnish all concerned agencies of the respective deliverables and office targets under the ICRG Action Plans and other relevant documents, including pertinent NACC resolutions.

It also directed the AMLC to submit to the Office of the Executive Secretary, through the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs, a comprehensive report on the status of the implementation of the NACS 2023-2027, particularly the Strategic Objective 1, on or before December 8 of this year.

The AMLC will also serve as the lead agency of the ML/TF NRA Working Group and formulate and issue guidelines for the effective implementation of the circular.

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said that as of September 2023, out of 18 ICRG Actions Plans, the Philippines must still address eight plans for it to exit the Financial Action Task Force Grey List by January 2024.

“The urgent implementation of the NACS 2023-2027, particularly its Strategic Objective 1, will intensify and expedite efforts to address deficiencies identified by the FATF ICRG,” the MC stated, noting that another mutual evaluation will be conducted in 2026.  —KBK, GMA Integrated News

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