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Philippines Sets Ambitious Goal to Exit FATF 'Grey List' on Money Laundering: Comprehensive Efforts and Global Implications in 2024

The Philippines is steadfast in its determination to secure removal from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) money laundering "grey list" in 2024, marking a critical agenda for the nation. This commitment was underscored during a sectoral meeting at Malacañang, where President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. directed all relevant agencies to expedite efforts in addressing the strategic deficiencies highlighted by the FATF, with the ultimate goal of exiting the grey list.

Philippines Sets Ambitious Goal to Exit FATF 'Grey List' on Money Laundering: Comprehensive Efforts and Global Implications in 2024

AMLC Executive Director Matthew David provided crucial insights after the meeting, shedding light on the urgency and significance of the government's initiatives. President Marcos emphasized the high-level political commitment of the government to swiftly address the remaining deficiencies, recognizing the potential repercussions associated with prolonged inclusion on the FATF watchlist.


The Philippines found itself on the FATF "grey list" in 2021, subjecting it to heightened scrutiny and monitoring aimed at countering money laundering and terrorist financing. Despite the initial deadline set by the FATF for addressing these deficiencies being January 2023, the country has yet to meet the specified criteria, necessitating continued endeavors to secure a removal from the list.


David provided clarity on the situation, stating, "The deadline given by FATF was January 2023. Since we did not meet the deadline, we're still in the grey list, and our aim is to exit the grey list this January 2024. That was a self-imposed deadline, but we are hopeful that we exit the grey list this 2024."

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Acknowledging the risks associated with prolonged inclusion on the grey list, David elucidated potential consequences. These include impacts on the country's credit rating, scrutiny from international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and potential repercussions on foreign direct investments in the Philippines. Additionally, being relegated to the "black list" could have adverse effects on the transactions of overseas Filipino workers.


David emphasized the escalating risks, noting, "It may affect our credit rating, the World Bank and even the IMF (International Monetary Fund) is looking into the status of the Philippines regarding the grey list."


To tackle these challenges comprehensively, President Marcos directed government agencies to maintain robust coordination with law enforcement agencies and sustain efforts to meet the FATF's expectations. David highlighted the commitment expressed by all agencies involved, indicating a collective belief that the country is on the right track to address deficiencies and strengthen its anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing (AMLCTF) system.


As the FATF closely monitors the progress of the Philippines, the nation remains steadfast in rectifying identified deficiencies and enhancing its measures against money laundering and terrorist financing. Successful removal from the FATF grey list would not only represent a significant milestone for the Philippines but would also mitigate potential economic and financial implications associated with continued scrutiny by the global financial watchdog. The comprehensive efforts and commitment demonstrated by the government signal a proactive approach to addressing financial integrity concerns and aligning with international standards in combating illicit financial activities.

By fLEXI tEAM

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