THE ANTI-MONEY Laundering Council (AMLC) has laid out a plan against money laundering and terrorist financing that covered nonfinancial institutions such as property developers and brokers can adopt.

“This outline shall not, however, be taken as the only format acceptable as there is no one-size-fits-all approach given the different risks and business models,” the council said in an advisory.

“[They] may supplement the policies and procedures required in this outline with their own relevant policies and procedures on various lines of businesses, which address specific areas and risks,” it added.

A program focused on preventing “dirty money,” terrorist financing and other financial crimes should be a priority for these companies, it added.

The AMLC said their crime prevention programs should include institutional risk assessment and management, corporate governance, compliance management, internal controls and audits, as well as hiring policies and procedures.

These companies should also improve due diligence in customer identification and risk profiling, and beneficial ownership.

Procedures related to preventive measures for specific transactions, politically exposed persons, and reporting of covered and suspicious transactions should also be included in their crime prevention program.

The country’s amended Anti-Money Laundering Act included real estate brokers and developers as covered institutions after findings that some criminals had parked illicit funds in the property sector.

Last week, the AMLC released guidelines on the management, sale and turnover of assets that had been frozen or became the subject of civil forfeiture cases.

The government has been trying to prove it is going after money launderers and terrorist financiers. This was after the country was included in the “gray list” or jurisdictions under increased monitoring by the Financial Action Task Force in June.

The global money laundering watchdog in October said the Philippines had improved in terms of enforcing measures against financial crimes, but was kept under the gray list.

Local authorities seek to get the Philippines out of the list of countries under a tighter watch for financial crimes by January 2023. — Luz Wendy T. Noble