BSP intensifies info campaign to combat money laundering

By Rosalita Manlangit


The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has urged local government units (LGUs) to participate and continue to support initiatives to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.


BSP conducted recently an information-sharing with the LGUs on registration and monitoring of Pawnshops (PSs) and Money Service Businesses (MSBs) in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

During radio program entitled “Talakayan sa PIA” held recently, Deputy Director Marlyn J. Paje of BSP- Naga Branch, said that the value of information sharing has become more paramount to boost the country-wide approach to combat money laundering in consideration of the inclusion of the Philippines in the “Financial Action Task Force’s Grey List of Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring.”


Paje said LGUs play a crucial role in ensuring that only PSs and MSBs duly registered with the BSP were issued or with renewed business permits and allowed to operate within the LGUs respective jurisdictions.


She said that the Philippines is in the “Financial Action Task Force’s Grey List” because of 73 percent participation rates of LGUs in the country in terms of submitting required reports as of the end of December 2021.


The international regulating body which is the Financial Action Task Force wanted a hundred percent participation rate of LGUs in submitting required reports and this requirement will fall due in September 2022.


She said that a country under the grey list has more requirements or closer scrutiny of multi-lateral members and donors.


The information sharing with LGUs on PSs and MSBs was instituted in 2009 thru the forging of two memoranda of agreement (MOA) between BSP and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).


Aside from combating money laundering, the MOA aimed to place PSs and MSBs under strict regulation to ensure that funds are channeled only to legitimate purposes with the end in view of preserving the integrity and stability of the financial system.


Its purpose is to protect the public, consumers from PSs and MSBs operating without the necessary business registrations, permits or licenses as well as to lay down the minimum requirements and standards to be established and do business.


The BSP and the DILG also signed a joint memorandum circular on Nov. 15, 2019 re-affirming their commitment to the 2009 BSP and DILG MOA.


This arrangement has helped the BSP and DILG promote consumer protection especially against illegal and unfair practices from entities operating without permits or licenses and those that are involved in money laundering or terrorist financing activities.


The joint effort of the BSP and DILG also helps provide financial services for sectors of society that are unserved or unreached by banks, thereby promoting inclusive finance. (PIA5/Camarines Norte)