RP ESCAPES FATF SANCTIONS, BUT STILL ON BLACKLIST  

Manila, March 14, 2003 -- The Philippine Central Bank today announced that the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided not introduce sanctions against the Philippines for failing to tackle money laundering, after new legislation enacted by the country earlier this month.

"The new legislation addresses the main legal deficiencies in the Philippine anti-money laundering regime previously identified by the FATF," the organisation said in a statement.

Under the terms of the Paris-based FATF, set up by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Philippines could have faced financial sanctions if President Gloria Arroyo had not pushed the new law through earlier this month.

However, the FATF said it would continue to monitor the situation in the Philippines, which would remain on its list of so-called "non-cooperative countries and territories" until it had implemented the new legislation.

"This is a significant success for the FATF and the Philippines in the fight against money laundering," FATF President Jochen Sanio said.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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