Manila (Philippines), 21 April 2023 - A Roundtable Discussion on Asset Recovery was held in Manila on 21 April 2023, gathering high-level officials from various Philippine government agencies involved in combating corruption and recovering stolen assets. The event aimed to address the challenges posed by the theft of public assets in developing countries and explore opportunities to strengthen asset recovery efforts.
Representatives from key agencies, including the Anti-Money Laundering Council, Department of Justice, Office of the Ombudsman, Office of the Solicitor General, National Bureau of Investigations, Philippine National Police, and Securities and Exchange Commission, participated in the discussion. Their collective expertise played a vital role in asset identification, tracing, freezing, and seizure.
The discussions primarily revolved around the current regulatory framework in the Philippines. Each agency provided valuable insights into their mandates and procedures, shedding light on their roles in asset recovery. Notably, the roundtable placed particular emphasis on the second cycle of the UNCAC implementation review, focusing on asset recovery aspects. The participants engaged in constructive conversations, offering guidance to requesting States on the content of asset recovery requests and exploring measures for the return of recovered proceeds.
During the discussion, participants identified several challenges impeding effective asset recovery in the Philippines. Of notable concern were the tight bank secrecy and data privacy laws, which hindered access to crucial financial information for investigations. In light of these obstacles, the following recommendations were proposed to enhance asset recovery efforts, including:i) Strengthen the enforcement and application of existing legislation and policies related to asset recovery through comprehensive training programs for law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges.
The Roundtable Discussion on Asset Recovery marked a significant milestone in the Philippines' ongoing efforts to combat corruption and recover stolen assets. By fostering dialogue and collaboration among key stakeholders, the event laid the groundwork for enhanced coordination, improved practices, and a more robust regulatory framework in line with international standards. These collective efforts are expected to restore public trust, bolster the investment climate, and advance sustainable development in the country.
This event was conducted as part of a package of activities funded by the Kingdom of Denmark.
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