October 25, 2023 2 min read


Philippine Government Issues Memorandum Circular in Hopes of Exiting the FATF Grey List

Organizations will need to address the deficiencies that led to the Philippines’ inclusion in the FATF grey list

Bullish on exiting the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list, the Philippine government ordered 44 government agencies to update their policies. As a result, a number of authorities, including the PAGCOR, will be required to review their anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) protocols.

Under a Memorandum Circular No. 37, issued by the Office of the President, government organizations will need to address the deficiencies that led to the Philippines’ inclusion in the FATF grey list.

For reference, the Philippines was included in the list back in 2021 for failing to properly counteract money laundering. The lax controls concerning casino junkets and the deficient information sharing between financial institutions were among the chief reasons for the greylisting.

The Memorandum Circular calls for urgent implementation of the National AML, CTF and Counter-Proliferation Financing Strategy (NACS) 2023-2027. In its announcement, the government emphasized its desire to crack down on fraud. The country hopes to exit the FATF grey list by January 2024.

The Philippines Hopes to Exit the FATF Grey List Quickly

The Memorandum prioritizes quick action, in accordance with the NACS and FATF’s International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) Action Plans. The Memorandum Circular also establishes an ML/TF NRA Working Group that will have nine subgroups dedicated to different aspects of the NRA.

The ML/TF NRA Working Group will be led by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMCL), which will also be responsible for issuing guidelines and coordinating with other departments, agencies and private sector entities. The announcement said that funding for the initiative would be allocated from relevant agency budgets, in accordance with the applicable regulations.

The Memorandum Circular takes effect immediately, attesting to the Philippines’ desire to exit the FATF grey list as soon as possible.

Earlier this month, China agreed to help the Philippines crack down on illegal offshore gambling. This followed a recent joint action between the two countries that led to the repatriation of 400 Chinese nationals.

Speaking of that, in September, China joined forces with ASEAN and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for a new initiative that seeks to combat transnational criminal activities.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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