House OKs on 2nd reading proposed amendments to PH anti-money laundering law

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2020 11:58 PM

MANILA - The House of Representatives has approved on second reading the proposed amendments to the country’s anti-money laundering law.

The chamber approved House Bill 7904 in a viva voce vote where the ayes outyelled the nayes during the plenary session Tuesday.

The lower House is expected to vote on the measure on 3rd and final reading in 3 days.

The original proposes expands the scope of predicate offenses by including tax crimes and violations of the strategic trade management act on the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 

It also seeks to expand the definition of covered persons to include real estate developers and brokers who engage in buying and selling of real properties.

It likewise seeks to authorize the anti money laundering council to implement targeted financial sanctions, including the ex parte freezing of funds and assets belonging to individuals or entities designated and listed under United Nations resolutions relating to the prevention, suppression and disruption of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and its financing.

It also seeks to authorize the council to preserve, manage and dispose assets subject of freeze orders or asset preservation orders and to retain forfeited assets pending turnover to the government. 

It also enhances and strengthens the investigative powers of the council, particularly its subpoena and contempt powers. It also seeks to prohibit courts from issuing temporary restraining orders or writs of injunction against the council in exercise of its freeze and forfeiture powers, with the exception of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the plenary continued discussions on the proposed security of tenure bill, House Bill 7036 and began discussions on House Bill 7836 which provides for stronger protection against rape and sexual exploitation abuse.

Before wrapping up work for the night, the plenary also approved on final reading the following national bills:

  • House Bill 7762 which institutes policies for the protection and promotion of the welfare of workers or independent contractors in the film, television and radio entertainment industry. (235-0-0)
  • House Bill 7763 mandating the submission of a tree planting plan as a requirement in the application for building permits. (238-0-0)
  • House Bill 7805 providing protection to consumers and merchants engaged in internet transactions (232-0-0)
  • House Bill 7829 regulating the use of treatment technology for municipal and hazardous wastes (239-0-0)
  • House Bill 7838 penalizing the act of throwing hard objects at motor vehicles (240-0-0)