Davao City 1st District Representative has filed a bill that would penalize bulk-cash smuggling in the country this amidst the controversy surrounding the hundreds of millions of dollars brought in by Chinese nationals into the country.
House Bill 6421, or the “Anti-Bulk Cash Smuggling Act of 2020, mandates that any person shall declare through proper reporting the amount of cash or monetary instruments worth P500,000 or more that will be transported within the Philippines and outside of the Philippines.
Under the bill, those planning to transport huge amount of money will also have to secure from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas a clearance prior to travel.
The bill states that a person who intently evades proper reporting requirement and knowingly conceals cash amounting to 500,000 or more shall be penalized with imprisonment of not less than one year but not exceeding five years.
He or she will also have to pay a fine not less than P100,000 but not exceeding P500,000.
Smuggled bulk cash shall be forfeited immediately by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) upon inspection, according to the bill.
Government officials or employees who conspire with others to violate provisions of the proposed measure shall be punished with a fine not less than P50,000 but not more than P200,000 and will suffer imprisonment of six months to not more than one year.
The bill also provides that the individuals instrumental in the discovery and seizure of smuggled cash shall receive a cash reward equivalent to one percent of the total amount of the cash smuggled or P200,000, whichever is lower.
House Committee on Appropriations chairman and ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap is also a co-author of HB 6412.
The presidential son and House Deputy Speaker lamented how travelers to other countries are required to undergo security questioning when they bring more than $10,0000 cash, while travelers entering the Philippines only have to declare it through the Declaration Form upon arrival and nothing else.
“Since it would be difficult to trace and document cash transactions, the money brought in into the country may be used for illegal activities. Thus, there is a significant need to increase our vigilance over money laundering,” the young Duterte said.
Authorities say that Chinese nationals brought in a total of US$368 million to the country since mid-2019.