Guidelines on the submission of the Quarterly DIGICUR Status Report of Compliance (QUADSREC)
Relative to AMLC Regulatory Issuance (ARI) No. 6, Series of 2021 that pertains to the final extension of the deadline for compliance with the Guidelines on the Digitization of Customer Records (DIGICUR) and that was posted on the AMLC website on 30 September 2021, the AMLC issues the following guidelines on the submission of the QUADSREC:
1. Beginning 25 October 2021, upload the duly accomplished and signed QUADSREC form (Annex A) through the AMLC Portal.
Refer to the step-by-step procedure on uploading the QUADSREC form (Annex B).
2. Then accomplish the electronic QUADSREC form via the advisory page of the AMLC Portal.
Refer to the step-by-step procedure on accomplishing the electronic QUADSREC form (Annex C).
All covered persons concerned must cease submitting their respective QUADSREC forms via e-mail.
Submission of the QUADSREC form shall resume on 25 October 2021 via the AMLC Portal. Covered persons who have previously submitted their QUADSREC forms via e-mail shall re-submit the same through the AMLC Portal starting on said date.
Posted 20 October 2021
Coverage of AMLC Regulatory Issuance (ARI) A, B, and C, No. 2, Series of 2018, also known as the Guidelines on Digitization of Customer Records (DIGICUR)
In issuing the DIGICUR, it was declared a policy that any revelation by any person of an ongoing investigation of the AMLC is considered inimical to the public interest as it leads to immediate movement of funds from accounts subject of investigation to another account, thereby depriving the State the opportunity to recover proceeds of unlawful activity. Thus, the objectives of the DIGICUR are:
a) To maintain the confidentiality of the financial investigations of the AMLC by preventing tipping off to customers under investigation; and
b) To ensure swift retrieval of customer records by covered persons, which in turn, ensures promptness in the AMLC’s financial analysis, investigations, and legal actions.
Therefore, as a general rule, all covered persons are obliged to comply with the DIGICUR. In the same guidelines, however, an exemption was made for money service businesses (MSBs). Thus, the DIGICUR does not apply to MSBs as they generally do not maintain accounts or electronic wallets (e-wallets) for their customers, thereby rendering inexistent the danger sought to be prevented by the DIGICUR, i.e., the immediate movement of funds from accounts subject of an investigation. Nevertheless, the DIGICUR shall still apply when the business model of an MSB is such that the customer is able to open, keep, and maintain an account as an e-wallet or other similar electronic products or services.
Following the foregoing rationale and extending the same to all covered persons, it is hereby clarified that the DIGICUR shall apply only to covered persons whose business involves customers who are able to open, keep, and maintain accounts, e-wallets, or other similar electronic products or services with them. As such, ARI No. 6, Series of 2021, requires said covered persons to:
a) Complete and fully comply with the requirements of the DIGICUR on or before the final and non-extendable deadline of 30 September 2022; and
b) Submit a Quarterly DIGICUR Status Report of Compliance (QUADSREC) within fifteen (15) calendar days after each reference quarter, except that the first report shall be submitted on or before 31 October 2021. Submission of the QUADSREC shall continue until such time that such covered persons have completely and fully complied with all the requirements of the DIGICUR.
On the other hand, covered persons who do not maintain such accounts or e-wallets for their customers are exempted from the DIGICUR. Therefore, they are not obliged to comply with its requirements, and they do not need to submit the QUADSREC on a regular basis. A one-time submission of said QUADSREC, however, shall still be required, indicating that the covered person is exempted from the coverage of the DIGICUR as herein provided. Said one-time submission shall be due on 31 October 2021.
Please be reminded that non-compliance with the DIGICUR requirements constitutes a Grave Violation, with penalties ranging from PhP37,500.00 to PhP375,000.00 per customer under Table A.A, Section 2, Rule IV of the Rules of Procedure in Administrative Cases (RPAC).
On the other hand, failure to submit the QUADSREC within the period prescribed shall constitute a Serious Violation (i.e., with penalties between PhP15,000.00 to PhP150,000.00 per account) under Item C.25, Table A, Section 2, Rule IV of the RPAC for violation of orders, resolutions, and issuances of the AMLC.
Posted 8 October 2021
List of Uncooperative Covered Persons under the AMLA, as amended
The AMLC issued the amended Anti-Money-Laundering/Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) Guidelines for Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs). This is in light of the recent amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA), as amended, particularly Section 2 of Republic Act No. 11521, which includes real estate brokers and developers; and offshore gaming operators as well as their service providers as covered persons.
Section 54.A.1 of the 2021 AML/CTF Guidelines for DNFBPs vests upon the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) the authority to conduct compliance-checking, with at least 24 hours prior notice, to validate the compliance of DNFBPs with the requirements of the AMLA, as amended, its implementing rules and regulations, guidelines, and other AMLC issuances.
Failure or refusal to cooperate would mean non-compliance and will be subject to such penalties and sanctions as the AMLC and the Appropriate Government Agency (AGA) may impose under the AMLA, as amended and AGA’s Charters, respectively, as well as the implementing rules and regulations and issuances of the AMLC and AGA.
Supervising Authorities are hereby informed that various covered persons under their respective supervisions failed or refused to cooperate with the AMLC in the conduct of its compliance-checking.
Supervising Authorities are further informed that the AMLC resolved to revoke the registration of those covered persons who failed or refused to cooperate with the AMLC.
Similarly, the public is hereby advised to be cautious and to observe appropriate protocols in dealing with the following uncooperative covered persons:
Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs):
1. MG Universal Link Limited (MG Universal); and
2. Inner Strong Limited (Inner Strong).
Posted 7 October 2021