The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has re-included the Philippines in its “grey list,” or countries which are lax in its efforts to curb money-laundering and terrorism-financing activities on their shores.
This is quite significant as this means the Philippines now finds itself under heightened monitoring by FATF investigators to ensure it complies with remedial guidelines set by the G7, or the group of highly-industrialized nations which sets the tone of the world’s economy (which doesn’t include China and Russia).
Because after the grey list comes the black list where the FATF’s 39-member countries would impose economic sanctions on the erring state severely restricting financing from the World Bank, etc., trade payments and currency remittances.
The FATF is an international organization, founded on the initiative of the G7, designed to counter money laundering as well as terrorism financing.
Inclusion in the FATF’s grey list means the Philippines will have to comply with the recommended reforms to be determined soonest within a prescribed time frame, or face further demotion to the black list.
So far, only North Korea and Iran are the only countries in the FATF’s black list.
The Philippines was first blacklisted by the FATF in 2000 as a “non-cooperating country or territory,” before the grey list was created in 2012.
After the creation of the Anti-Money Laundering Council, the Philippines was taken off the FATF’s black list in 2005.
Last April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned the Philippines of dire consequences owing to the conflict of interest between the state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) and money-laundering through casinos – for which Malta was put on the grey list.