Pres. Duterte Backs Changes To AMLA, Bank Secrecy Law

Pres. Duterte Backs Changes To AMLA, Bank Secrecy Law

Spotlight

Specialty Pulp Manufacturing Inc. Chooses 100% Clean Energy From EDC

Agriculture-based manufacturing company SPMI is now being powered by clean, renewable, reliable energy from EDC!

1st ARISE Virtual Annual General Membership Meeting Focused On Business Resilience

ARISE Philippines discusses the need to focus on key priority areas in its advocacies on disaster risk reduction in its first virtual Annual General Membership Meeting.

PAGEONE Group CEO Included As Expert In The Social Media Trends 2021 Global Report

PAGEONE Group CEO Ron F. Jabal, APR included as one of the industry experts in the Social Media Trends 2021 Global Report by Talkwalker and Hubspot.

Transport Coop. Provides More Than 25k Free ‘Green Cards’ For Cashless Transactions

A transport cooperative operating in Las Piñas provides 25,735 passengers with the means to safely board and ride their solar electric jeepneys along the route of Alabang to Zapote.

President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed support to the passage of the proposed revisions to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) and the Bank Secrecy Law, as well as the planned automatic exchange of information with foreign tax authorities.

The three proposals have been included in the list of Duterte’s priority measures following his recent meeting with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino told Palace reporters in a weekly economic briefing.

“There are three pieces that we are advocating. It could happen that they all get passed in one law or in complementary law,” Lambino said. “The President agreed that these are priority measures.

This developed following the Senate’s revelation that there was an influx of money laundered in the country through the controversial operation of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

Duterte also made the decision in light of POGOs’ supposed defiance to pay the right taxes to government.

Lambino said the proposals for automatic exchange of information and for amendments to Republic Act (RA) 9160 or AMLA and RA 1405 or the Law on Secrecy of Bank Deposits would arm the government with “stronger monitoring and enforcement tools” to fight tax evasion and other financial crimes.

He expressed hope that Congress would act swiftly on Duterte’s priority measures aimed at strengthening the country’s financial system.

He added that Duterte would urge lawmakers to certify the measures as urgent, as soon as they come up with a committee report on the proposals.

“Well, the certificate of urgency comes when there’s actually a committee report already. Committee report number. So, we look forward to working with Congress in making this a high priority para po ma-address natin itong mga issue na ito (to address the issues plaguing the country),” Lambino said.

Duterte has been repeatedly urged to order the closure of POGOs following the influx of dirty money into the country through the online gaming industry.

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, meantime, 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.

No direct link yet between POGOs, laundered money

Duterte on Monday believed that there is no corruption in POGOs, despite several issues hurled against the online gaming industry.

On Tuesday, Duterte insisted that POGOs are “clean,” and stressed that the government continues to benefit from tax collections from the offshore gaming firms.

Sought to react to Duterte’s remarks, Lambino said “the dots have to be connected” yet to establish the “direct link” between POGOs and the billions of pesos laundered in the country.

“I think the POGO and money coming in, the direct link between them is to be established still,” Lambino said. “And in order to connect all of these dots, we need to amend those laws and we need to lift absolute bank secrecy and institutionalize the automatic exchange of information.”

PHP18-billion unpaid taxes

At present, there are 60 POGOs licensed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) in the country.

Lambino admitted that majority of the 60 licensed POGOs failed to pay roughly PHP18 billion in withholding income taxes in 2018.

He, however, said the challenge would be addressed, if Congress pass “as soon as possible” the proposed measure of Albay Rep. Joey Salceda that seeks the imposition of 5-percent franchise tax on revenues generated by POGOs.

Lambino said the DOF fully supports the efforts to increase the franchise tax on POGOs.

“By virtue of registering with Pagcor, BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) considers them as having operations here in the Philippines. And therefore, they should be paying the 5 percent franchise tax. Congressman Joey Salceda’s proposed measure makes it clear that there is no doubt that they owe the 5 percent franchise tax,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino. (PNA)

Photo Credit: facebook.com/pcoogov

Legazpi Farmers Urged To Sell Rice Instead Of Palay

The City Agriculture Office advises over 2,600 registered farmers in Bicol to sell rice instead of harvested palay to earn more.

DA Asks Seed Firms To Promote Hybrid Rice Tech

The Department of Agriculture encourages seed companies to take the challenge in promoting hybrid rice technology to the local farmers.

Bello: 4K OFWs Stranded Due To PhilHealth Issue With PRC

Here's how the Philhealth issue affects Filipinos during the pandemic:

BOC-Clark To Donate Over 5K Seized Gadgets To DepEd

Over 5,000 electronic devices such as laptops and cellphones are set to be donated by the Port of Clark to the Department of Education.

Nograles: Nat’l Land Use Act Needed To Ensure PH Food Security

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles renews the administration’s call for the passage of a National Land Use Act saying it is needed to ensure the country’s food security.

SMC Rolls Out Bicycle Program For Employees, RSA Urges Motorists To Safely Share The Road

The bicycle program rolled out by San Miguel Corporation allows employees to purchase a unit for around P2,000 to P3,000 that they can then pay for with no interest for twelve months.

DOH Cites Ways To Avoid ‘Quarantine Fatigue’

Fed up with the cabin fever? Here are some ways on how you can cope with it:

Ricky Lee Reveals Storytelling Secrets And Journey In iWant TFC’s ‘Trip To Quiapo’

Calling aspiring filmmakers! Enhance your storytelling skills with the "Trip To Quiapo" docuseries, exclusively on iWant.

LTFRB-10 Urges Public To Report PUVs Violating Health Protocols

Failure to wear a face mask and face shield will be penalized accordingly.