The Philippine House of Representatives took a major step backward this week when a committee endorsed a measure that financial Jihadists have pushed to facilitate regulatory changes that would provide an advantage to Shariah-compliant institutions…

Note that the author of the bill points out that the Shariah finance sector will seek to obtain non-Muslim customers as well as Muslim ones…

The Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries has also agreed to endorse a bill amending the charter of Al Amanah Bank to expand Islamic banking in the country.

Batangas Rep. Nelson Collantes, committee chairman, has created a technical working group to draft the final version of Bill 5989 for submission to the House proper for plenary consideration.

He said the proposed law “is very timely as it would help the government make economic growth inclusive and sustainable.”

The bill, authored by Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman of party-list group Anak Mindanao, seeks to amend the country’s lone Islamic bank, Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank, to allow it to expand its operations.

The measure would make the Muslim bank independent from the Development Bank of the Philippines, convert it into a universal bank with a P10-billion capitalization and authorize it to issue Islamic bonds.

Turabin-Hataman said the measure would “help provide a responsive regulatory framework for Islamic banking that encourages a level playing field for a wider success in financial transactions by amending the Al Amanah Bank Charter.”

It would open Islamic banking to local and foreign investors, she said.

“Islamic banking and finance is a growing industry worldwide, gaining a market not just exclusive for Muslims, as it is seen as an alternative to existing conventional banking. This is particularly significant for the country, as we position our self as a major player in the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration,” she said.

She added an expanded Amanah Bank would offer financial services not only to Muslims, but also to other sectors of society as well.

The BSP has endorsed Turabin-Hataman’s bill, saying it could be the answer to growing challenges and opportunities in Islamic banking.



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