In an effort to reduce money laundering and criminal and terrorism funding, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) of the Philippines has made amendments to the AMLC Registration and Reporting Guidelines (ARRG). The amendments were approved by the government on December 6th, according to the AMLC Secretariat Executive Director, Mel Georgie Racela.
With this new amendment, all institutions are required to report suspicious transaction reports (STRs) no more than 5 days from the date of the original transaction. Casinos, although included in the institutions under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), are excluded but have their own rules and guidelines to follow. It is believed that the implementation of the new amendment will lead people to create a compliance culture, allowing the institutions to be more keen on following anti-money laundering (AML) laws. In addition, if there is an event of a possible crime such as kidnapping, drug trafficking, hijacking, terrorism, terrorist financing and so on, uploads of know-your-customer (KYC) documents for STRs and e-returns are now allowed through the AMLC portal. Uploads of KYC documents should be done first before the STR uploads.
Racela stated that these new measures will assure confidentiality and eliminate customers from being bribed. Racela also stressed the importance of these changes saying that “the quality of the STRs had to be improved. The AMLC had also striven to find suitable ways to establish a central linkage among the supervising authorities that would facilitate our coordination.”
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