PROPERTY DEVELOPERS and brokers that missed last week’s registration deadline under new anti-money laundering rules may be penalized, according to the regulator.

Newly covered entities must register by Dec. 21 under anti-dirty money and counter-terrorism financing rules, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said in a statement last week. The guidelines took effect in June.

Only registered nonfinancial businesses and professions can access the council’s portal.

The government has been tightening its anti-money laundering rules after the Financial Action Task Force in June placed the Philippines on its “gray list,” citing deficiencies in the country’s anti-dirty money and counter-terrorism financing framework.

Under AMLC registration and reporting rules, real estate brokers and developers must examine transactions where parties may be hiding the identity of the property buyer.

After being covered by the country’s amended law against dirty money and terrorist financing signed in January, property developers and brokers must register with and report all suspicious transactions to the council.

“If not registered, (the designated nonfinancial businesses and professions) would not be able to electronically submit covered and suspicious transaction reports,” AMLC said.

Organizations that fail to report transactions will be penalized, which include imprisonment or fines.

Philippine central bank Governor Benjamin E. Diokno has said that he expects the country to get out of the Financial Action Task Force gray list by January 2023. — Jenina P. Ibañez