New anti-laundering strategy to fill gaps


AS part of government efforts to remove the country from the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has ordered the creation of the National Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorism Financing, and Counter Proliferation Financing Strategy (NACS) 2023-2027.

The new NACS will replace the National Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing strategy 2018-2022.

Under his Executive Order (EO) No. 33 dated July 4, 2023, Marcos said NACS 2023-2027 aims to address the gaps raised by the FATF, a global financing watchdog, on the country’s measures against money laundering and terrorist financing.

“The adoption of NACS 2023-2027 will enable the Philippines to address the International Cooperation Review Group [IGRG] Action Plans, ensure that the country exits the Financial Action Task Force Grey List, and improve its anti-money laundering, counter terrorism financing, and counter proliferation financing [AML/CTF/CPF] regime,”

Marcos said in EO 33, which he issued through Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin. 

Countries which have weak measures for both illegal activities are included by FATF in its grey list, while those with “serious strategic deficiencies” become part of its blacklist.

As of June 23, there are currently 26 countries in the FATF grey list, including the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the black list include the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, and Myanmar.

New power and composition 

A new feature of the new NACS is its inclusion of proliferation financing, which the FATF defined, as the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as identified by relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs).

EO 23 gave the National AML/CFT Coordinating Committee (NACC) the power to reorganize its composition including the creation of a sub-committee to counter proliferation financing.

It also made the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) an additional member of the committee.

The NACC will be chaired by the Executive Secretary, while the Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, who is the concurrent Chair of the Anti-Money Laundering Council  (AMCL), will serve as its Vice Chair.

Its members are the heads of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Finance, Department of Justice, Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Trade and Industry, Securities and Exchange Commission, Insurance Commission, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority, and the NICA.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes