AMLC, BSP renew ties

THE Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) renewed their firm commitment to take on money laundering and terrorism financing on 24 April 2019.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, and AMLC Secretariat (AMLCS) Executive Director Mel Georgie B. Racela, inked the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the AMLC and the BSP at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex in Manila with BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier and AMLCS Deputy Director Alvin L. Bermido signing as witnesses.

The AMLC implements and enforces Republic Act (RA) No. 9160, also known as the “Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA),” as amended, and RA No. 10168, also known as the “Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 (TFPSA).”

The AMLC ensures that the Philippines will not be used as a money laundering site for proceeds of any unlawful activity, and that the Philippines is secure from terrorism financing.

It is, therefore, empowered to investigate money laundering and terrorism financing; prosecute these crimes; and cause the confiscation of criminal proceeds.

The AMLC also enforces compliance by covered persons with the provisions of the AMLA, its implementing rules and regulations, and other AMLC issuances. The law authorizes the Council to impose administrative sanctions for their violations.

Pursuant to RA No. 7653, otherwise known as the New Central Bank Act, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, on the other hand, exercises supervision over banks and quasi-banking operations of non-bank financial institutions. With the recent passage of RA No. 11211, the BSP’s powers have now expanded to cover money service businesses, credit granting businesses, and payment system operators.

The 2018 Implementing Rules and Regulations of the AMLA reiterate the power given to supervising authorities, such as the BSP, to assist the AMLC in implementing the AMLA and TFPSA by supervising, assessing, and monitoring compliance with AML/CTF requirements through the conduct of AML/CTF inspection, examination, audit, or other mechanisms deemed appropriate.

Both agencies are under the leadership of the BSP Governor, who is the ex-officio Chairman of the AMLC. The Governor assures to uphold effective collaboration between both institutions by way of enforcing the Information Exchange/ Compliance and Enforcement Policies between the BSP and the AMLC, most especially the provision on the Coordination Committee, which facilitates the close coordination and cooperation between the BSP and the AMLC.

The MOA updates the memorandum of understanding between the BSP and the AMLC executed on 28 February 2007. As the country’s situation has evolved through time, the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing have changed, particularly in the effective implementation of the rules governing the administrative proceedings before the AMLC. This MOA then represents another chapter of collaboration and information-sharing between the AMLC and the BSP.