AMLC Executive Director Mel Georgie Racela. INQUIRER.net photo file / CATHY MIRANDA

MANILA, Philippines – Real estate is being used as a “vehicle” for money laundering, with several real estate assets linked to terrorist financing and subject to freeze orders, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC ).

AMLC Executive Director Mel Georgie Racela made the confirmation when responding to Senatorial Minority Leader Franklin Drilon’s question as to why the board wants to include developers and real estate brokers in the list of covered institutions. under the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001. Covered by AML Amendments.

During a hearing in the Senate on the proposed amendments to the LBA, Racela declared that this was one of the measures proposed which will make it possible to remedy the “identified strategic deficiencies” in the legal framework of the fight against money laundering. money and terrorist financing of the country.

Senatorial Minority Leader Franklin Drilon then asked Racela if AMLC thought the real estate transactions were being used for money laundering.

“The real estate industry is used as a vehicle for money laundering, which is why you want to include real estate transactions? Drilon asked the AMLC official, who replied in the affirmative.

“There are several real estate assets linked to the financing of terrorism which [are] subject to existing freezing orders. We therefore confirm, Senator Drilon, that the real estate vehicle is being used as a money laundering scheme, ”Racela said.

Drilon, however, proposed that the Deed Registry be required to report suspicious real estate transactions instead of making such transactions to be covered by anti-money laundering law.

“Are you telling us that real estate transactions are generally used by money launderers in our country when transactions must be covered by anti-money laundering law?” And assuming that is the case, isn’t the remedy to require the registry of acts to report all suspicious transactions or transactions above the threshold amount rather than imposing an additional burden on the debtors? real estate agents ? Said the legislator.

For Drilon, following the AMLC suggestion would only cause a burden in the real estate industry.

“Can you imagine the burden on this industry? I repeat, we are not talking here about real estate brokers as institutions, you have thousands of real estate brokers, housewives, a family member who, in order to earn extra income, would go into real estate brokerage Said the senator.

“Now you will ask these people to submit reports whenever the threshold is met and the threshold is P 1 million. Wala na pong gagawin itong mga realtors kung hindi magreport sa AMLC (realtors would no longer do nothing other than to report to AMLC), ”he said.

He added that AMLC also might not be able to review all of these reports anyway.

“This is why I suggest that instead of imposing the burden on real estate agents, why not impose the burden on the register of deeds which would be the custodian of all this?” Drilon said.


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