Real estate developers and brokers, as well as offshore gaming operators and their service providers, have to register with the AMLC’s electronic reporting system by 16 March.
Philippines’ AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) has given offshore gaming operators, real estate developers and real estate brokers until 16 March to register their businesses on its electronic reporting system.
The development follows the signing into law of amendments to strengthen the Anti-money Laundering Act.
Under the revised law, real estate developers and brokers are required to report any transaction worth PHP 7.5 million (USD 160,000) and above.
Additionally, all entities regulated by the state-run PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp), particularly offshore gaming operators, need to report each cash transaction worth PHP 5 million and above.
Under the law, the AMLC was required to create implementing rules and regulations within 90 days after the law took effect.
In a recent advisory, the AMLC reiterated that real estate developers and brokers, as well as offshore gaming operators and their service providers, are now covered persons under the amended AML Act.
“These persons and entities are required to report covered and suspicious transactions to the AMLC within the period prescribed and for the threshold amount fixed by the law,” it said, adding that this requires online registration on the electronic reporting system.
The AMLC cautioned that non-registration is an administrative offence penalised under the rules of procedure on administrative cases.
“Failure to register would mean failure to electronically file covered and suspicious transaction reports with the AMLC, which is a money laundering offense,” it said.
Violators with assets worth PHP 50 billion and above face a maximum penalty of PHP 5 million, while companies with assets worth PHP 10 million and below would face penalties between PHP 10,000 and PHP 500,000.
The AMLC’s registration and reporting guidelines are available here.
Separately, The Philippine Star notes that the AMLC has recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine National Police as it continues to strengthen its partnership with law enforcement agencies.
This is part of efforts to avoid the Philippines being placed on the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) grey list, a list of countries with significant strategic AML/CFT deficiencies.
In October 2019, it was placed under a 12-month observation period, though this was extended to February 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Philippines has therefore been rolling out a slew of AML measures – including tighter rules on beneficial ownership and a new AML/CFT risk assessment framework – which will be included in a report due to be submitted to the FATF in the first week of April.
The Philippines plans to seek a re-rating of its technical compliance with the FATF Recommendations.