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Anti-Money Laundering Council Partners to Mitigate Financial Cybercrime in the Philippines

Amid the surge of cashless payments in the Philippines, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has signed an Information-Sharing Protocol (ISP) agreement with a digital financial services company to help the government in its efforts to prevent and combat financial crimes in the country.

The ISP is expected to serve as a bilateral agreement and cooperative framework for more efficient communication and collaboration to prevent and mitigate financial crimes in the country. As the agency continues to enforce the country’s laws against money laundering and terrorism financing, collaboration with the private sector has become more crucial, especially now that more Filipinos are employing cashless transactions, said the executive director of the AMLC.

Through the ISP, the AMLC and the digital financial services company will collaborate in areas of information-sharing and capacity building to help strengthen the integrity of the Philippine financial system. As digital payments adoption continues to accelerate among Filipinos, the safety and security of the financial accounts of customers are paramount. Financial services providers have the responsibility of safeguarding this trust. The private firm is reaffirming their full commitment to ensuring that transactions made by their customers and partners in various platforms are safe and secure to maintain their overall trust in their systems, said the financial services company’s president.

The company has stepped up its efforts to combat financial crimes in its system by deploying anti-fraud detection tools, implementing a more stringent know-your-customer (KYC) process, and actively informing its users on how to avoid being victimised by fraudsters and other unscrupulous individuals.

In a recent Senate Committee hearing regarding bills pending that will address human trafficking and online sexual abuse and exploitation of children, the company likewise reiterated its commitment to support legislation and proactively cooperate with government agencies to combat these crimes.

Aside from financial fraud, the ISP between AMLC and the private sector can help mitigate other crimes including online sexual abuse and exploitation of children, human trafficking, terrorism financing, swindling or “estafa”, and donation scams, among others.

Similarly, the country’s Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) through its attached agency the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Centre (CICC), adapts to the rise in digitalisation with the comprehensive National Cybersecurity Strategy Framework.

The development of the Framework shall be able to institutionalise the adoption and implementation of Information Security Governance and Risk Management approaches. These globally recognised standards shall provide the government with the systematic and methodical practice of ensuring the protection of mission-critical and non-critical infostructure. The government shall build up its capability and capacity for quick response and recovery through the establishment of the National Computer Emergency Response Team (NCERT).

The DICT is mandated to ensure the rights of individuals to privacy and confidentiality of their personal information; ensure the security of critical ICT infrastructures including information assets of the government, individuals and businesses; and provide oversight over agencies governing and regulating the ICT sector and ensure consumer protection and welfare, data privacy and security, foster competition and the growth of the ICT sector. One of the priority areas that the agency must immediately institute is the formulation of the National Cybersecurity Plan to address the urgency to protect the nation’s Critical Infostructures, Government Networks both Public and Military, Small Medium Enterprises to Large Businesses, Corporations and its supply chains and every Filipino using the internet.

The primary goals of this plan are as follows:

  • assuring the continuous operation of the nation’s critical infostructures, public and military networks
  • implementing cyber resiliency measures to enhance the government’s ability to respond to threats before, during and after attacks
  • effective coordination with law enforcement agencies
  • a cybersecurity educated society
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