Probe into PH as money laundering hub sought

March 02, 2020

A House leader urged the  government, particularly the law enforcement agencies, to ensure that the country will not be used as money-laundering site.

ACT-CIS Representative  Eric Go Yap said Filipinos and  foreigners should avoid bringing into the country huge amounts of money in order not to be accused of money laundering.

Yap, chairman of the House Committee on Games and Amusement, renewed his call to probe into the bringing in of big sum of money of travelers from foreign countries, specifically from China.

“Last year pa natin sinasabi itong impormasyon na nakuha natin pero hanggang ngayon nangyayari pa rin at mas lumalala. Ilang bilyon na ang pumasok sa ating bansa na hindi natin alam kung saan napunta. Kasi yung iba, hindi naman talaga nila dinideclare sa form na sinasagutan nila sa Immigration. Pagkalagay sa form, anong kasunod? Wala na,” Yap said.

In fact, Yap noted  that the issue was already raised in one of the hearings of the Committee on Ways and Means last year.

As the vice chairperson of the panel, Yap forewarned the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) regarding this scheme.  

“We, together with the AMLC, ensure that the Philippines shall not be used as a money laundering site for proceeds of any unlawful activity. Hindi naman natin ipinagbabawal na magpasok sila ng malaking pera sa bansa, dahil baka gamitin nila ito para sa negosyo na makakatulong naman sa ekonomiya natin. Pero kailangan may regulating policy tayo na iniimplement para sigurado tayo na hindi kaduda-duda ang paggagamitan nila ng pera,” he added.

According to Yap, reforms to regulate the bringing in of cash in the country must be strictly enforced as soon as possible to pre-empt future issues.

“We have been coordinating this with the Customs and other stakeholders - developing plans and strategies to have a coherent bulk cash smuggling law. We are also greateful that this issue has come to the Senate’s attention. Since we have the same agenda, we can resolve this more effectively. We will be treating this with urgency and caution as the large amount of money may be used to fund a destabilization plot,” the solon said.