Dominguez wants relaxed bank secrecy rules to cover private individuals: Unfair to limit it to public officers
Moves to ease the country’s bank secrecy law under the proposed Package 1B of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act would enable courts to pry into deposits only of government officials but also private individuals involved in money laundering and tax evasion.
“The bill we are supporting is for everybody but subject to suspicions, evidence of tax evasion,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.
“We are not limiting it to public officials. We are covering everybody. Again, subject to if they are under suspicion for money laundering, for tax evasion,” he said.
The measure in the Senate has been deliberated and Dominguez said he has received information that it would be passed by end-March this year.
The Philippines is among the few countries in the world that has a Bank Secrecy Law, known here as Republic Act (RA) 1405 or The Law on Secrecy of Bank Deposits.
The said law, approved on Sept. 9, 1955, ensures secrecy of bank deposits and prohibits bank personnel from disclosing any information about a bank account holder unless required by a court or the depositor has issued a waiver.
Aside from relaxation of the Bank Secrecy Law, Package 1B also proposes for the automatic exchange of information and granting of tax amnesty.
The measure is seen to generate around P40 billion worth of revenues this year alone. (PNA)