Beneficial Ownership Data Training for Law Enforcement Agencies in the Philippines

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Manila (Philippines), 29-30 August 2023 - In a significant move toward enhancing transparency and accountability in the Philippines, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Open Ownership (OO), in collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), conducted a training workshop on Beneficial Ownership Data for Law Enforcement Authorities.

The two-day event, held on 29-30 August 2023 in Metro Manila, gathered over 40 key representatives from various government agencies, including the SEC, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Anti-Money Laundering Council, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Justice.

The workshop aimed to equip law enforcement authorities with a comprehensive understanding of beneficial ownership and its critical role in combating corruption and financial crimes. It provided practical insights into accessing and effectively utilizing beneficial ownership data for investigative purposes.

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According to Mary Catherine L. Mendoza, a Legal Officer from the Anti-Money Laundering Council, “This training has equipped us with essential skills and renewed our sense of purpose in our mandate.”

The success of this training is expected to lead to lasting changes in knowledge, skills, behaviour, and decision-making among law enforcement authorities. These changes align with Sustainable Development Goal 16, which aims to promote peace, justice, and strong institutions by reducing corruption and bribery.

As part of post-training efforts, actionable recommendations and next steps have been outlined, including the establishment of inter-institutional working groups, and the development of standard operating procedures for efficient data access.

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The workshop’s impact will be further assessed in the coming months, ensuring that its benefits are sustained and enhanced. This initiative represents a significant stride toward fostering transparency, accountability, and the fight against corruption in the Philippines.

The training was funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), under the COVID-19 Anti-Corruption Response and Recovery Project.

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Other Useful Links:

  • A summary of a Forensic Accounting Training for the Office of the Ombudsman held in the Philippines in May 2023 can be found here.
  • A description of a Roundtable Discussion on Asset Recovery held in the Philippines in April 2023 can be found here.
  • A summary of a Roundtable Discussion on Public Procurement Fraud held in the Philippines in April 2023 can be found here.