Entry, exit of large sums of cash allowed under PH law: Customs bureau
MANILA - The Philippines allows travelers to bring in and out of the country large sums of cash as long as it is declared, the Bureau of Customs said Wednesday as lawmakers look into foreigners' alleged money laundering activities.
The bureau can only seize undeclared amounts of cash, according to BOC spokesman Vincent Maronilla.
"'Yung pagdala ng large amount ng pera is not per se illegal. What’s illegal is if the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is able to determine na itong pera ito ay ginagamit sa illegal activities," he told radio DZMM.
"Ang batas po kasi natin pinapayagan ito. They only need to declare, kaya nangyayari ito."
The Philippines requires any person to declare any amount exceeding $10,000 (or its equivalent in other foreign currency) being brought into or out of the country, including its purpose.
The bureau then reports it to the AMLC within the first week of every month in accordance to a 2005 agreement within the 2 agencies, Maronilla said.
Customs commissioner Rey Guerrero last year requested a review of the agreement, he added.
The bureau earlier said it has identified travelers who have been declaring huge amounts of foreign currency and was coordinating with the AMLC, central bank, Congress and law enforcers.
Sen. Richard Gordon and ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap over the weekend said foreigners, particularly Chinese nationals, have been bringing millions of dollars in cash into the country since late last year.
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, headed by Gordon, is set to investigate the issue on Thursday.