A MEASURE creating a sound legal and regulatory framework for Islamic banks in the country is now awaiting President Duterte’s signature.
Reelected Anak Mindanao (Amin) Party-list Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan said in a statement the bill is already on its way to the Palace as the 17th Congress adjourned sine die on Tuesday.
According to Sangcopan, the measure will attract more investments in the country’s banking sector and complement the newly created Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
The bill refers to an Islamic bank as a business whose objectives and operations do not involve interest (riba), which is prohibited by the Shari’ah and which conducts its business transactions in accordance to Shari’ah principles.
“This is good news as we celebrate Eid’l Fitr tomorrow [June 5]. This will help Filipino Muslim businessmen to have access to banking and financial services that are attuned to the principles of Shari’ah or Islamic law,” Sangcopan said. “With the imminent passage of this measure into law, Laos will be the remaining country in the Asean region which has no Islamic banking system.”
She said the House of Representatives concurred in the Senate’s adoption of its version; thus, the bill will not require a bicameral conference.
The measure seeks to regulate and organize Islamic banks by mandating the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to supervise, license and regulate the operations of Islamic banks.
It provides that the Monetary Board may authorize the establishment of Islamic banks.
It may also authorize conventional banks to engage in Islamic banking arrangements, including structures and transactions, through a designated Islamic banking unit within the bank provided that the Islamic banking unit is separate from its conventional banking transactions.
The Monetary Board may also authorize a foreign Islamic bank to establish banking operations in the Philippines under any of the modes of entry provided under Republic Act 7721 or “An Act Liberalizing the Entry and Scope of Operations of Foreign Banks in the Philippines and for Other Purposes,” as amended.