Sun. Apr 18th, 2021

MANILA – The proposed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA) and Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007 would help the government achieve its target to raise the country’s investment grade credit rating to A level within the next two years, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor and Anti-Money Laundering Council Chairperson Benjamin Diokno presented the proposed legislative amendments to AMLA or Republic Act 9160 and Human Security Act 9372 during the 47th Cabinet meeting held at Malacañan Palace on Monday night.

“The successful passage of key amendments to the AMLA and the Human Security Act, according to Gov. Diokno, will complement or boost our efforts towards an A-credit rating for the country,” Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.

Panelo, however, did not elaborate the proposed amendments pitched by Diokno.

S&P Global Ratings in 2019 upgraded the Philippines’ long-term sovereign credit rating from “BBB” to “BBB+”, two notches above the minimum investment grade.

Higher credit ratings translate to lower borrowing costs and favorable investment environment that will support economic growth.

In January, Diokno said getting an “A” credit rating within the next two years is achievable since the government continues to push for more structural reforms and the development of infrastructure.

Diokno also stressed that introducing amendments to AMLA and HSA would make the country compliant with international anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing standards.

AMLA aims to protect and preserve the integrity and confidentiality of bank accounts and to ensure that the Philippines will not be used as a money laundering site for the proceeds of any unlawful activity.

HSA, on the other hand, seeks to fight terrorism through a comprehensive approach comprising political, economic, diplomatic, military and legal means.

Debt watcher Fitch Ratings in February raised its outlook on the Philippines to “positive” from “stable” due to its “very strong” macroeconomic story.

It means the Philippines’ current “BBB” rating could be upgraded to “A” once certain criteria are met. (PNA)

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