In a nod to the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC’s) calculated plan to contain money laundering and terrorism financing, President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) No. 68 on 12 November 2018, approving the National Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism Strategy (NACS). The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) had provided valuable insights to the AMLC in crafting the NACS as part of its technical assistance program.*
Taking the cue from the UNDOC’s technical experts Tom Hansen and Hernan Longos, both based in the UNODC Regional Offices in Bangkok, Thailand, the AMLC crafted the NACS guided by the Second National Risk Assessment (NRA) Report, along with the functions and priorities of relevant agencies as well as current trends. The NRA was spearheaded by the AMLC, pursuant to Memorandum Circular No. 64, issued by the Executive Secretary, Office of the President of the Philippines.
With inputs and support from the National Government and law enforcement agencies, and private and non-profit sector institutions, the Second NRA, which covers the years 2015 and 2016, gauged the threats stemming from proceeds-generating predicate offenses and the vulnerabilities in the country’s anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) systems. The NRA involved the different financial sectors and other designated non-financial businesses and professions, and identified risks to the country’s AML/CFT regime.
The NACS lays out seven concrete objectives ranging from enhancement of Philippine laws and regulations, strengthening the AMLC’s investigations and prosecutions, coordinated action among government agencies, development of mechanisms to deter money laundering and financing of terrorism, improved supervision of covered persons, international cooperation, and information dissemination to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
EO No. 68 also created the National AML/CFT Coordinating Committee (NACC), a body tasked to oversee implementation of the NACS, composed of various government agencies, including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Insurance Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Finance, and the Department of National Defense, among others. The AMLC will serve as the Secretariat for the NACC.
“With his approval of the NACS, the President recognizes that an effective AML/CFT system demands cooperation and commitment among government and private sectors,” says AMLC Secretariat Executive Director, Atty. Mel Georgie B. Racela. “Though these sectors have already been collaborating in the past, the NACS standardizes our country’s approach. Our agencies, offices, and institutions all have different mandates and responsibilities, but the NACS methodically gets us all together toward the common goal of fighting money laundering and terrorism financing.”
The adoption of the NACS came at a time when the Philippines is undergoing its Third Round Mutual Evaluation, a multi-jurisdictional review of the country’s AML/CFT regime, particularly, technical compliance of its laws and regulations with international standards, and their effectiveness. The On-Site Mutual Evaluation by assessors, who were appointed by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, was just concluded last 28 November 2018. Representatives, including heads, of multiple government agencies, private financial institutions, and non-profit organizations participated in the activity.
EO No. 68 was published in the Official Gazette on 19 November 2018.
To view EO No. 68, please click this link.
To view National Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Strategy (NACS), please click this link.
* The NACS marks the most recent collaboration between the AMLC and the UNODC, whose relationship spans more than a decade. The UNODC had previously assisted the AMLC in providing theoretical, investigative and analytical trainings to its personnel in the Secretariat and officers of law enforcement and other government agencies; policy-making; and strategy formulation.