alexa Power Politics In Policymaking: The Anti-Money Laundering Act Of The Philippines
ISSN: 2151-6200

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Research Article

Power Politics In Policymaking: The Anti-Money Laundering Act Of The Philippines

Bing Baltazar C Brillo*

Department of Social Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Philippines Development Studies (by Research), De La Salle University, Philippines

*Corresponding Author:
Bing Baltazar C Brillo
Department of Social Sciences
University of the Philippines Los Baños
Philippines Development Studies (by Research)
De La Salle University, Philippines
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

Published date: June 17, 2010



The Anti-Money laundering law (AMLA) is a financial regulation enacted mainly because of external demand, as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) called on the Philippine Government to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regime. The FATF not only summoned the Philippine Government, but also determined the shape and content of the AMLA by requiring the institutional policy actors to conform to the global standards. Thus, the FATF exercised direct powers — agenda setting and decision making — in persuading the Philippine Government to enact the law. The institutional policy actors were impelled to prioritize the consideration and deliberation of the financial regulation (agenda setting) and compelled to enact and rework the content of the policy to conform to the FATF standard within a time frame (decision-making). The FATF’s use of direct powers was made possible and reinforced by the context-shaping power of the prevailing financial structure, specifically, the establishment of the AML regime. Context-shaping bound the institutional actors to enact the policy because of the prevailing AML regime established by the FATF. As the context-shaping power underscored the exercise of the agenda-setting and decision-making powers, the lawmaking experience that created the AMLA highlights the employment of the different dimensions of power as well as the contemporary dynamics in the global financial structure vis-à-vis the policymaking process.


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