THE House committee on banks and financial intermediaries on Tuesday approved the twin measures, including the bill of former President-turned Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Pampanga expanding Islamic banking in the country alongside with the conventional banking system to help sustain the country’s economic growth.
Arroyo and Anak Mindanao (AMIN) party-list Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman lauded the panel’s approval of House Bill (HB) Nos. 3957 and 492 that they filed, respectively, which seek to amend the Philippine’s lone Islamic bank, the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank to regulate and organize an expanded Islamic banking system in the Philippines.
Mrs. Arroyo said the proposed law is very timely in order to make the country’s growth inclusive and sustainable.
“We also thank Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who authored a similar bill. Having a former President and a renowned economist share, the same legislation is not only an honor but further validates our advocacy. Our bills have been consolidated,” said Turabin-Hataman, who chairs the House committee on Muslim affairs, on the consolidated measure that will also undergo scrutiny before the House committee on appropriations for budgetary requirement.
Turabin-Hataman said her idea “for the establishment of a national framework for Islamic banking in the Philippines” that is contained in her measure will be treated as another separate bill.
“My bill originally drafted to amend the Al Amanah Islamic Investment Bank and expand Islamic banking in the Philippines gave birth to to separate bills, one for the establishment of a national framework for Islamic banking in the Philippines and another, solely on the amendments of the Al Amanah Charter,” said Turabin-Hataman.
“We agreed to the committee chair’s recommendation to separate the two ideas in one bill aimed at preventing a constitutional prohibition on having two subject matters in one legislative measure. This will further give the bill establishing the needed national Islamic banking framework a separate opportunity to be passed, while we will work on the Al Amanah Charter amendments’ approval at the [House] committee on appropriations since it provides budgetary requirements for additional capitalization,” Turabin-Hataman explained.
The consolidated proposal will make the Al-Amanah independent from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP); be a universal bank with initial paid up capitalization of P10 billion; and, if capable, be the first in the country to fully engage in Islamic banking that can issue sukuk, the Islamic bond which is not a debt instrument but a financial certificate.