PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent the passage of the bill that will strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering law.
In his letters to Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd and Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Friday, Duterte certified as urgent Senate Bill 1412 and its counterpart bill in the House, House Bill 6174, which seeks to strengthen Republic Act (RA) 9160 or the “Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001.”
The President said he wanted the immediate passage of the measure for the Philippines “to comply with legal standards for anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing, as established by relevant international bodies.”
Under RA 9160, the State is mandated to protect and preserve the integrity and confidentiality of bank accounts and to ensure that the Philippines will not be used as a money laundering site for the proceeds of any unlawful activity.
RA 1405, meanwhile, forbids the disclosure of or inquiry into deposits with any banking institution, unless the depositor gives permission, or a competent court orders the examination of bank accounts.
“Such compliance will avoid adverse findings against the country which could lead, among others, to increased costs of doing financial transactions, to the prejudice of the business sector and our overseas Filipino workers,” Duterte said in his letter to Congress.
Bills certified as urgent are exempt from a rule requiring lawmakers to study the measure for at least three days before voting on it.
This is the third time this week that the President certified bills as urgent.
On Wednesday, Duterte certified as urgent a bill seeking to grant the country’s chief executive powers to streamline the issuance of licenses and permits in times of national emergencies.
The Senate version of the bill was passed on third reading on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the House counterpart bill was passed on Friday.
Duterte had met with Senate and House leaders to ask for the passage of a measure that would eliminate red tape and corruption in government.
He offered to be invited as resource person during the bill’s deliberations but did not push through with his Senate appearance.
The President has repeatedly expressed frustration over red tape and corruption in government.