Developers, POGOs required to register with AMLC
Real estate developers, brokers, Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs), and OGO-service providers (OGO-SPs) are required to register with the electronic reporting system of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) by mid-March.
This as real estate developers (REDs), real estate brokers (REBs), offshore gaming operators (OGOs), and OGO-service providers (OGO-SPs) are now covered persons under Republic Act (RA) No. 11521, which strengthened the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001.
And as covered persons, they are now required to report all covered and suspicious transactions to the AMLC within the period prescribed and for the threshold amount fixed by the law.
“If real estate developers and brokers do not submit certificates of [their] registration [with the AMLC], banks and other covered persons may refuse to open a bank account or to continue business relationships with them. The intention of this requirement is to avoid abuse of the Philippine financial system,” AMLC Executive Director Mel Georgie B. Racela said in a text message.
Registration with the AMLC’s system is online and free
Registration with the AMLC’s system is can be done online and free of charge. AMLC said that real estate developers, real estate brokers, as well as POGOs and their service providers (OGO-SPs), need to register by March 16, 2021.
It is said that failure to register would mean failure to electronically file covered and suspicious transaction reports with the AMLC, which is a money laundering offense per Section 4 of the AMLA.
Mr. Racela noted this is a criminal offense under the amended AMLA, which cites “extreme circumstances where there is clear intention not to report.”
Those who fail to register may also request an extension with the AMLC’s Compliance and Supervision Group, citing specific reasons, Mr. Racela said.
Employees of real estate developers and brokers do not need to register individually so long as their employers register with the AMLC.
“As of date, none has registered, but the AMLC has been receiving a lot of inquiries regarding the registration as well as requests for training and seminars from various real estate brokers’ associations,” Mr. Racela said.
Based on AMLC rules, failure to register with the electronic reporting system within the prescribed period is considered as a serious violation. Penalties will depend on a covered entity’s asset size: those with assets worth P10 million and below may pay P10,000 to a maximum of P500,000, while those with assets worth P50 billion and above may pay a maximum of P5 million.
Under RA 11521, entities regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. including POGOs and their service providers are required to report a single casino cash transaction equivalent to P5 million.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed RA No. 11521 on January 29, 2021, into law in order to address gaps in its “dirty money” regulations ahead of the Feb. 1 deadline set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
This news article was originally published by Business World.
Arnann Jay is a blogger of Filipino Homes and a Freelance Communications Officer, with experience in managing projects and campaigns focusing on education, peace, and digital literacy.