Duterte certifies as urgent bills boosting anti-money laundering law, financial resiliency amid COVID-19 crisis

Aleta Nieva Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2020 09:52 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his remarks following a meeting with officials of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on October 8, 2020. Alberto Alcain, Presidential Photo/File

MANILA— President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday certified as urgent the passage of two more bills that strengthens the Anti-Money Laundering law and ensures the continued resiliency of the Philippine financial industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duterte wants the immediate passage of counterpart bills House Bill No. 6174 and Senate Bill No. 1412 for the Philippines to comply with legal standards for anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing, as established by relevant international bodies.

“Such compliance will avoid adverse findings against the country which could lead, among others, to increased costs of doing financial transactions, to the prejudice of the business sector and our overseas Filipino workers,” Duterte said in separate letters to House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Senate President Vicente Sotto III released to the media on Saturday.

He also sought the immediate passage of Senate Bill No. 1849 or “An act ensuring Philippine Financial Industry Resiliency Against COVID-19 Pandemic.”

The move, he said in another letter addressed to Sotto, would “strengthen financial initiatives towards national economic recovery and maintain the stability of the financial sector amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Bills certified as urgent are exempt from a rule requiring lawmakers to study the measure for at least 3 days before voting on it.

This is the third time this week that the President certified bills as urgent.

On Wednesday, he sought the speedy passage of Senate Bill No. 1844 that seeks to authorize the President to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses and certifications.