IPOPHL highlights initiatives to assist PH in exiting grey listing and emphasizes the need of de-risking.

25 January 2022

IPOPHL highlights initiatives to assist PH in exiting grey listing and emphasizes the need of de-risking.

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has joined the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) in encouraging international financial institutions to stop de risking and burdening Philippine-related transactions with needless monitoring.

"De-risking," according to IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba, "may deny Philippine enterprises and nationals of financial services that would allow them to survive and recover from current crisis."

This de-risking approach, according to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Paris based "dirty money" watchdog, could push de-risked companies to pursue unregulated financing channels, potentially complicating "dirty money" traceability. Instead, the FATF encourages financial institutions to follow its recommended risk-management approach.

"As a member of the FILEPSC (Financial Intelligence, Law Enforcement, and Prosecution Sub-Committee), IPOPHL continues to strengthen the fight against counterfeiting and piracy, which have been identified as sources of money laundering and financing of organized criminal groups around the world," Barba added.

IPOPHL hopes to re-establish contact with financial payment gateways and law enforcement agencies this year (LEAs). The gaps in tracking "dirty money" flow, onboarding processes that assure the validity of partners and transactions, and IP crime investigations and enforcement were reviewed at their most recent meeting in 2020.

"To overcome these gaps, we look forward to extending our relationship and synergy with payment gateways and LEAs," Barba stated.

Barba said that IPOPHL is presently working on a coordination mechanism with the National Privacy Commission to expedite data exchange between IPOPHL, payment gateways, and LEAs, which will be critical for catching IP criminals and taking action against them.

"This year, we aim to achieve our collaborative goals and see our efforts pay off."

Excel V. Dyquiangco

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