Due to the Philippines’ failure to adequately address gaps in its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regime, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has retained the country on its gray list for the second straight year.

Anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) controls in the Philippines remain deficient after missing the January 2023 deadline, as eight out of 18 deficiencies have yet to be addressed.

“The Philippines entered the gray list in June 2021 but its action plan actually expired in January this year and eight of 18 action items remain outstanding. So this is not a small number,” FATF president T. Raja Kumar of Singapore told local media. 

Once it was reinstated on the gray list in June 2021, the Philippines made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG).

Kumar noted that the Philippine authorities knew their deficiencies and what was needed to meet the FATF standards. “I urge them to just continue to accelerate the action to address the major gaps that still remain.”

Besides the Philippines, there are 25 other countries on the gray list, including Cameroon, Croatia, and Vietnam.

Having no legal framework against money laundering, the Philippines was placed on the FATF blacklist in 2002 as a non-cooperative country.