HomeBANWAvol. 7 no. 1 (2010)

The Financial Action Task Force and the AMLA of the Philippines: Dynamics between Veto Players and a NonVeto Player in Policymaking

Bing Baltazar C. Brillo



The article is about the dynamics between an international organization and the institutional actors vis-a-vis the policymaking process. It argues that the Anti-Money Laundering Law (AMLA) was exogenously driven, as the policy was instigated purely by external demand and enacted under external pressure. AMLA is considered an imposition of the Paris-based intergovernmental organization, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The swiftness of the enactment of AMLA exemplifies the immense influence that an international financial organization can have on the policy actors as well as on the policymaking process. The policymaking process in this type of institutional engagement— between institutional actors (executive and legislature) within a polity and an international organization— is efficient in producing a policy output. However, the process represents an issue of international override on a state, as a nonveto player dictates to the institutional veto players. This experience supports
the global pattern that, in issues associated with global financial standards, policymaking will less be shaped by the institutional actors and will extensively be defined by international actors. The making of AMLA presents an archetype of how international organizations can hold sway over the state.