MANILA – Casinos are now covered by the Anti-Money Laundering Act, or AMLA.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act (RA) 10927, placing casino operations under the Act Defining the Crime of Money Laundering (RA 9160).

Covered by the new law are internet- and ship-based casinos, and transactions involving more than P500,000 within one banking day and a single casino cash transaction involving more than P5 million.

Sen. Francis Escudero said the new law would ensure that the Philippines avoids getting blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

“The Anti-Money Laundering Council was able to update the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) during their annual meeting in Sri Lanka that we already passed the law,” said Escudero, chairman of the banks, financial institutions and currencies committee.

“But according to [the council], the APG will still be monitoring the country until the law is already in force,” he said.
Getting in the FAFT blacklist will put the Philippines under stringent financial monitoring and affect overseas Filipino workers’ remittances, Escudero warned.

Duterte signed RA 10927 on July 14.
FUNERAL BENEFIT UP
In another development, Duterte issued an executive order (EO) increasing the employment compensation (EC) funeral benefit for government and private employees to P30,000 from P20,000.

“There is a need to continually improve benefits under the EC Program to make them more responsive to the welfare and development needs of occupationally disabled workers,” read part of EO No. 33, signed on July 17.

The old EC funeral benefit was no longer sufficient to fully cover funeral costs, Duterte said.

The State Insurance Fund (SIF) shall finance the increase, the EO stated.

“The results of the actuarial studies of the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System show that the SIF can finance the increase in funeral benefits without affecting the stability of the SIF and without requiring additional contributions,” it read./PN

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